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In the same series 


by WiLUAM Dampier 

Introduction by Sir Albert Gray, k.c.b., k.c. 

The United States 


Australia and New Zealand 




South Africa 


India and Burma 






from the Elizabethan Translation of 


With Introduction, Notes and Appendices by 


4, 5 ©* 6 SOHO SQ^UARE LOxNDON W.i 







A PART from the general interest attaching itself to an Elizabethan 

Z_\ translation of the Travels of Marco Polo, the present edition aims 
A. jlL at supplying a long-felt want in Polian research — a series of maps 
embodying the latest work and discoveries of explorers and cartographers. 

Owing to the kindness of Sir Aurel Stein in allowing me to use the maps 
illustrating his Third Journey in Innermost Asia, I have been able, with the 
help of my expert cartographer. Miss G. Heath, to construct eleven entirely 
new maps, which I trust will help to elucidate the itinerary of our great 

With regard to the notes, the chief difficulty I have experienced is 
brevity, for Marco Polo offers unlimited resources to the student of 
research. I have, however, chiefly limited my notes to a consideration of 
Frampton's text, and to any fresh light that has been shed on the vexed 
question of Polo's itineraries. 

I am greatly indebted to the Rev, A. C. Moule, who has read my proofs 
and given me valuable advice ; to Dr C. O. Blagden, who has guided Polo's 
fleet safely through the Malay Archipelago ; and to Miss Frances Welby, 
whose generous help in Mediaeval Spanish and Italian has been of the 
very greatest value. The exhaustive index is the work of the Cambridge 
University Press, whose help and care throughout the entire work has 
been beyond praise. 

April 1929 

3G-\n 1 




§ i. John Frampton and Santaella xi 

§ ii. The Manuscript Tradition xviii 

§ iii. The Itineraries xxxi 



APPENDIX I. Notes to Frampton's Text of Marco Polo 151 

APPENDIX II, Selected Passages from Ramusio, etc. 261 

INDEX 343 


Map I. The Itineraries To face page \^ 

Map 2. The Itinerary from Kirman to the coast and the return Journey xxxvi 

Map 3. The Incursion of Nogodar into Kashmir xli 

Map 4. Pol&'s Route through Eastern Turkistan and Kansu. xliii 

Map 5. The ancient cities of Kara Khoja and Kara Khoto xlv 
(Reproduced by special permission from the recent surveys of Sir Aurel Stein; 

Map 6. The Route from Gh'eng-ting fu (Acbaluc) to Si-ngan fu (Kenjanfu) 

and the crossing of the Hwang Ho xlvii 

Map 7. The Itinerary from Yunnan to Tagaung, the return to Yunnan 

via Ami-chau xlix 

Map 8. Contour map showing the crossing of the Lu-chiang or Salween 

River 1 

Map 9. The Grand Canal route from Hwai-ngan-chau (Coigangiu) to 

Hang-chau (Kinsay) liii 

(Based, with permission from H.M. Stationery Oflfice, on the "Province of 
Kiangsu" map to semi-official Admiralty publication) 

Map 10. From Kinsay to Zayton Iv 

Map 1 1. The Sea Route from Chiian-chau to Persia via the Malay 

Archipelago Ivii 





-^ HE existence of an Elizabethan translation of the Travels of Marco 
Polo will probably come as a surprise to the majority of readers. 
This is not to be wondered at when we consider that only three 
copies of the work in question are known to exist, and that it has never 
been reprinted. The very rarity of the book would be of itself sufficient 
excuse for reprinting it, but in the present case there are other considera- 
tions which make its appearance little less than a necessity. 

In the first place, its value to students of Elizabethan literature is self- 
evident. Bearing this in mind, I have made no attempt to alter the spelling 
in any way, nor have I marred the charm of the narrative as known to 
contemporary readers by the insertion of unsightly notes. These are rele- 
gated to the end of the volume. The original head- and tail-pieces have 
also been preserved, together with sixteenth-century capitals. 

In the second place, the translation, made by John Frampton from the 
Castilian of Santaella, originates in a MS belonging to the Venetian re- 
cension, one of the most important of all the Polian recensions. Its editing, 
therefore, should be of considerable interest. 

Then again, the recently issued work of Prof. Benedetto, to which we 
shall retiu-n later, has so largely helped to unravel the tangled skein of 
Polian texts, that it is now necessary to reconsider afresh many of our long- 
accepted theories. 

Finally, thanks to the recent surveys carried out in Central Asia and 
Mongolia, we are able to trace the itineraries with a much greater degree 
of accuracy than before, and although many queries still remain, some of 
the blanks have been filled in, and a few of the old mistakes rectified. 


John Frampton 

Apart from what Frampton tells us about himself in the Prefaces to one 
or two of his translations, we know nothing whatever about him. From 
these we learn that he was resident for many years in Spain, and that on 
his return to his native country about 1576, employed his leisure in trans- 
lating several works from the Spanish. His knowledge of the language was 


very extensive as a comparison of the original with any of his translations 
will show. He must have worked hard during the first few years after his 
return to England, as between 1577 and 1581 six separate translations 
made their appearance. 

His first work seems to have been an English rendering of Nicolas 
Monardes' Primera T Segunda T Tercera Partes de la Historia Medicinal de las 
Cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales que siruen en Medicina, printed 
at London in 1577 by William Norton "in Poules Churche-yarde," under 
the title of Jojfull Newes out of the J^ewe Founde Worlde wherein is declared the 
rare and Jingular vertues of diverfe and sundrie hearbes, trees, oyles, plantes and 
Jlones, with their aplications, afwell for phijtcke as chirurgerie,. . . 

It was dedicated to Sir Edward Dyer (d. 1607), the Elizabethan courtier 
and poet, as was also Marco Polo and another of his translations, on China, 
to be mentioned later. A welcome reprint of Joyfull Mewes has recently 
(1925) appeared in the Tudor Translations Series, edited by Stephen 
Gaselee. In his Introduction, the editor draws attention to a most in- 
teresting point : that it is by no means unlikely that to John Frampton is 
due the first interest taken in tobacco in England, leading shortly to the 
actual importation of the first smoking implements and the plant itself by 
Ralph Lane and Francis Drake. 

To Monardes' description of tobacco, Frampton has added an account 
given him by Jean Nicot himself relating how, when French ambassador at 
Lisbon in 1559-61, he became acquainted with the new discovery and sent 
seeds to his Queen, Catherine de' Medici. An abstract of the actual report 
sent to France follows, in which we read of " the smoke of this Hearbe, the 
whiche thei receave at the mouth through certain coffins [paper cases of 
conical shape], fuche as the Grocers do ufe to put in their Spices." 

Thus nine years before Ralegh received the " herba santa " fi-om Drake, a 
full description of it had been published in London by Frampton. A second 
edition, with some additions, came out in 1580, and a third edition in 1596. 

His next work appears to be unrecorded, except in the Registers of the 
Company of Stationers of London. See Arber's Transcript, Vol. 11. p. 325, 
where we find that Henry Bynneman obtained a licence on March loth, 
1578, for, A brief Declaracon of all the portes. creekes. baies. and havens conteyned 
in the west India, the originall whereof was Dedicated to the mightie Kinge Charles 
the V Kinge of Castile. I know of no copy in existence to-day. It was copied 
by Ames and Herbert, Typographical Antiquities, Vol. 11. p. 982. 

In January 1579 Frampton finished writing the Dedication of his Marco 
Polo, so we may assume that it appeared in the early spring of that year. 
We shall return to a full discussion of this work later. 


On Oct. I St he finished another Spanish translation which was pubHshed 
before the end of the year. It was Bernardino de Escalante's Discurso de 
la Navegacion que los Portuguefes hazen a los Reims y Prouincias del Oriente, y 
de la noticia q fe tiene de las grandezas del Reino dela China, Seuilla, 1577, 
which appeared as A Difcourje of the navigation which the Portugales doe make 
to the Realmes and Prouinces of the Eejl partes of the worlde, and of the Knowledge 
that growes by them of the great thinges, which are in the Dominions of China. 
Written by Barnardine of Efcalanta, of the Realme of Galijia Priest, Imprinted 
in London at the three Cranes in the Vine-tree, by Thomas Dawson, 

Two copies each of the original edition and Frampton's translation are 

in the British Museum. They are exceedingly rare books. 

Most of the work deals with the customs, etc., of China. Thus, when in 
1745 it was included in Vol. 11. pp. 25-91 of A Collection of Voyages and 
Travels . . . compiled from the curious and valuable library of the late Earl of Oxford, 
we find the title-page altered as follows: An Account of the Empire of China: 
. . .to which is prefixed A Difcourfe of the Navigation which the Portugueze do 
make. ... As a matter of fact, the order of the chapters themselves are un- 
altered except that a few notes have been given to Chs. vi, ix, xi, xiv; 
Appendixes added to Chs. xi, xn-xiv, xv; and eleven "Reflections upon 
the Idolatry of the Jefuits, and other Affairs relating to Religion in China," 
inserted between Chs. xv and xvi [mis-numbered xiv]. 

Frampton's next work is of the utmost rarity, the only recorded copy 
being at the Lambeth Palace library. Its full title is as follows : A Difcouerie 
of the countries of Tartaria, Scithia, & Cataya, by the North-Eajl: With the 
manners, fafhions, and orders which are ufed in thefe countries. Setfoorth by John 
Frampton merchaunt. Imprinted at London at the three Cranes in the Vintree, 
by Thomas Dawfon. 1580.^ 

At first sight it would appear to be an original work by Frampton, but 
closer inspection shows it to consist of accounts of different parts of the 
East "collected and written by a certaine learned man called Francifco 

^ Owing to the excessive rarity of this work further bibliographical details will perhaps 
be welcome. The leaves are numbered on the recto only [i]-40, the actual number of 
pages being 6 + 80. Signatures are: fl. 3.+ i 21.^. 2. E. 3.^.4 + 4 B. -13 2 i$. 3. i>4 + 4 
<tt. < (il.4. + 4 ie.©.2.E.3.Ur.4. +4. The dots before and 
after the figures are inserted or omitted as shown above. J9. 4. is marked in the middle of 
the page above the tail-piece. E. 3. is in a plain roman fount. The Colophon appears on 
the bottom of f. 40 r**. The work forms No. 6. in a volume of several similar items. It is 
numbered 30. 8.8, and bears the stamp and initials "R. B." on either side, showing it to 
have been the former property of Archbishop Bancroft. 


Thamara of Cadiz. ..." This Francisco Thamara, who flourished in the 
first half of the sixteenth century, was Professor of Belles Lettres at the 
University of Cadiz from 1550 to 1552, and made translations of selections 
from Cicero, and a collection of apophthegms. (See further Diccionario 
Enciclopedico Hispano- Americano, 1897, vol. v, p. 167.) In 1556 he compiled 
a book of travels taken mainly from Joannes Boemus' Omnium gentium 
mores, • • • » 1536. It was entitled El libro de las Costumbres de todas las Genfes 
del mundo, y de las Indias, Anvers, and is the work translated in part by 
Frampton. He merely selected those portions deaUng with the East. 
Much of the information is taken direct from Marco Polo and Nicolo de' 
Conti. There are four distinct sections: (i) of the Region of Tartaria, 
and of the Lawes and power of the Tartars, fF. 1-13; (2) Of the Countrie of 
Scithia, and of the rude manners of the Scithians, ff. i3v<'-2i; (3) Of the 
Countrie that is called, the other fide of Ganges, and of Cataya, and the 
region of Sinas, which is a countrey of the great Cham; and of the 
meruailous things that haue bene feene in thefe countries, ff. 2iv<'-28; 
and (4) of many notable things that are found in the land of Tartaria, and 
in the Eafl India, ff. 28VO-40V. 

On ff. 24 and 27 V, the same mistake is made as occurs in Marco Polo 
(see Appendix I. Note 53, p. 164) where Santaella translates "lingua per 
si" as "lengua de persianos", thus making the natives of China and the 
Malay Archipelago speak Persian! On £27 Polo is referred to in connec- 
tion with Ciampago, or Japan. 

Frampton dedicated his translation "To the right worlhipfuU fyr 
Rowland Hayward Knight, and to mafler George Barne, Alderman of the 
citie of London, and gouernours of the worfhipfull tompany of merchaunts 
aduenturers for difcouerie of newe trades, and to the afiftents & generalitie 
of all the fayd worfhipfull fellowfhip, lohn Frampton wifheth all happye 
fuccelTe in all their attempts." 

His next pubHcation was in 1851, when he made a translation of Pedro 
de Medina's Arte de nauegar . . . Valladolid. 1545, under the title of The 
Arte of Nauigation, wherein is contained all the rules ^ declarations, fecretes & aduijes, 
which for good Nauigation are necejfarie & ought to be knowen & practifed: made 
by (majler Peter de Medina) directed to the right excellent & renowned Lord don 
Philippe, prince ofSpaine, & of both Sidles. As with most of Framp ton's books, 
it was dedicated to Sir Edward Dyer, and the date is given as Aug. 4, 1581 . 
A second edition appeared in 1595. 

Both are very rare. Dr Pollard, Short-title Catalogue, p. 402, No. 17771, 
records a copy of the first edition as being in the library of Sir R. L. 
Harmsworth, and the second edition in the H.E. Huntington library. 


The British Museum contains the original 1545 work of de Medina, as 
well as six French, two Venetian, and one Dutch translation. 

This comprises, as far as I can ascertain, all the translations made by 
Frampton. Although it is difficult to say for certain, it seems probable 
that he was alive in 1596, and personally re-edited the third edition of 
Joyfull J\fewes, which was, without doubt, his most successful work. 

It remains to discuss the bibliographical difficulties of Marco Polo. It 
was pubUshed, as we know, by Ralph Newbery in Jan. 1579, but for some 
reason or other was not clearly entered in the registers of the Company 
of Stationers, and has become connected with another work with which 
it has been thought actually to coincide. It is duly entered in Ames and 
Herbert, Typographical Antiquities, Vol. 11. 1786, p. 907, but a note is 
added as follows : 

"He [Ralph Newbery] had licence about this time to print A description 
of the East Indies, translated out of Italian, Q. if this be the book intended?" 

Now on reference to Arber's Transcript of the Registers of the Company 
of Stationers of London i 554-1640 A.D., we find in the Index Volume (Vol. v. 
p. 113) that Frampton's Marco Polo is recorded as appearing in Vol. 11. 
p. 342, but this reference is preceded by a query. On turning up the page 
in question we find no mention of Polo or Frampton at all. The entry is 
as follows : 

"Raffe newbery. Receaued of him for his licence to printe 
the description of the East Indies which was 
translated out of Italian and lycencid 
by master Tottell and master Cooke 
vnder their handes in the tyme of their 
being wardens." 

The date of the licence was Dec. 3rd 1578. Arber has simply copied 
Ames. The trouble is that no such work on the East Indies has been traced, 
and the above bibliographers have come to the conclusion that as Marco 
Polo appeared in January 1579, its licence must have been obtained in 
December 1578. The only work on the "East" licensed to be published 
by Newbery about that time was "the description of the East Indies," 
and this has been taken to be intended for Marco Polo ! 

Although this may seem quite unjustifiable, I notice that Dr Pollard, 
in his Short-title Catalogue of Books. . .1475-1640, has accepted the connec- 
tion, and gives Marco Polo as having received its Hcence on Dec. 3rd 1578. 
Personally I beUeve there is no connection whatever, and that the two 
works are quite distinct. It is possible that the East Indies was never 


published ; so also Marco Polo may never have been entered in the register 
as it should have been. 

Furthermore, all Frampton's v^orks were translated from the Spanish, 
and we are distinctly told that the East Indies was from the Italian. Pro- 
longed search has shed no hght on the matter. 

It is also rather strange that no subsequent edition of Marco Polo was 
issued. Here was a work that represented the first detailed information 
about the Far East, published at a time when English discovery and 
exploration was at its height, yet, as far as we can judge, its sale could not 
have warranted a reprint, and copies gradually got used up and lost. 
Thus to-day only three copies of the work are known to exist. Of these, 
two (979, f 25 and G. 2755) are at the British Musemn, while the third 
is in the Lambeth Palace library. For the present edition I have used 
979, f. 25. In G. 2755 the title-page is missing, and has been copied out 
in ink. 

The Lambeth copy is bound up in a volume of tracts, but is in very 
fine state with wide clean margins. The librarian tells me that as the 
volume bears the catalogue mark of Cambridge it certainly dates back 
to Archbishop Bancroft's time, when during the Commonwealth the 
library was transferred to Cambridge for twelve years. He considers, how- 
ever, that it probably formed part of Archbishop Whitgift's collection. 

Leaving John Frampton, we must pass on to a brief account of the Ufe 
and writings of Santaella. 


Rodrigo Fernandez de Santaella y Cordoba was bom in 1444 at Car- 
mona, twenty-six miles north-east of Seville. Nothing is known of his early 
life, and we first hear of him in 1467 when he was presented with a fellow- 
ship of theology at the College of San Clemente de los Espafioles at 
Bologna by the Archbishop and Chapter of Toledo. The fellowships lasted 
for eight years, so we may assume that Santaella remained at Bologna until 
1475. After taking his degree as Doctor of Theology and Arts, he preached 
before Sixtus IV at Rome in 1477, in the presence of Innocent VIII. 

Meanwhile Isabella had been recognized as heiress to Castile, and in 
1469 had married Ferdinand of Aragon. The "Catholic Kings" were pro- 
claimed in 1474, and soon after Santaella returned to Spain and embarked 
on his career of ecclesiastical preferment. 

In 1499 his magnum opus appeared, the Vocabulario Eclesidstico, dedicated 
to the Illustrious Catholic Queen. It went through no less than thirty 
editions, which are duly recorded by D. Joaquin Hazafias y La Rua, 


whose work^y Maese Rodrigo, 1 444-i^og (see pp. 155-196), is practically my 
sole authority for these few remarks on Santaella. 

His Sacerdotalis instructio circa missam followed later in the same year, 
and the Manual de Doctrina necesario al visitador y d los clerigos in 1502. 

In 1503 his Castilian translation of Marco Polo was published. In his 
Preface Santaella tells us that he was prompted to undertake the work 
since he realized its importance and no one had come forward to do it. 
It had already been printed in German, Latin, Venetian and Portuguese, 
and Santaella wished to see it in his native tongue. He also tells us that 
his library contained the treatise of Nicolo de' Conti, another Venetian, 
whose travels largely confirmed the narrative of Polo, and because of this 
fact he determined to include a translation in his work, "porque como 
nuestro sefior dixo por boca de dos 6 tres se confirma mas la verdad." 

As is related on a later page (p. xxvi) the Polo MS used by Santaella is 
now preserved in the Biblioteca del Seminario at Seville. Subsequent 
editions appeared in 1507, 15 18, 1520 and 1527, the last three being 

It is unnecessary here to enumerate the subsequent publications of 
Santaella. They consisted chiefly of sermons and other ecclesiastic writings 
of a similar nature, and are fully catalogued by La Rua. 

On Sept. 1 2th 1502 Hurtado de Mend jza. Cardinal of Seville, had died, 
and Santaella was made "Visitador" for the whole of the see. On 
June 3rd 1503 the Chapter divided the Archbishopric into four sections, 
that including the city of Seville and Triana falling to Santaella. The 
vacancy was filled by Don Juan de Zufiiga, who made his entry into 
Seville on May 13th 1504, but he died on July 26th of the same year. The 
esteem in which Santaella was held is shown by the fact that at the death 
of Zufiiga, he was nominated "Provisor" during the interregnum, the 
next Archbishop, Fray Diego de Deza, not arriving at Seville till 1506. 

For some years past Santaella had been deliberating on the founding 
of a university at Seville, and on June 13th 1503 the site was purchased 
for 4700 maravedis. A Bull, pointing out the necessity for a local university 
for the benefit of scholars and poor clergy studying in Seville, was approved 
by Julius III. Santaella's idea seems to have been to create a College 
for ecclesiastical studies, as well as a general university. In 1508 he ob- 
tained another Bull by which the College was united with three other 

* It was published at Seville in 1909, being a greatly enlarged edition of a 46-page 
pamphlet issued in 1900, entitled Maese Rodrigo Fernandez de Santaella. Fundador de la 
Universidad de Sevilla. 



benefices in order that medicine might be taught, and the whole establish- 
ment placed on the same footing as the university of Salamanca. 

Santaella died on Jan. 20th 1509, and was buried in the chapel of his 
college. In 1771 the Colegio Mayor, as it was called, was separated from 
the university, and by 1847 hardly one stone remained upon another. 

Thus the illustrious Archdeacon of the Realm, Maese Rodrigo Santaella, 
was almost completely forgotten, when the Rector of the university con- 
ceived the idea of erecting a statue to its founder. 

This statue, more than life-size, was unveiled on Dec. loth 1900, and 
stands in the great court of the university. 

Having thus briefly given a short account both of Frampton and San- 
taella, we can pass on to a consideration of the extant texts of the Travels 
of Marco Polo. 


Tp^REVious to 1928 it would have been practically impossible to have 

-J' written anything new about the numerous Polian texts, unless it had 
Jl been to have given more detailed accounts of the leading MSS 
already briefly described by Yule. 

Early last year, however, the eagerly awaited work of Prof L. F. 
Benedetto made its appearance in Florence^, and for the first time the 
MSS were properly classified and arranged in the respective groups to 
which they belong. 

But this is only a small portion of the work that Benedetto has accom- 
plished. He has not only increased the Yule-Cordier list^ of MSS from 
78 to 138, but has discovered a copy of one that contains many of the 
passages used by Ramusio, the origin of which was not previously known. 
I shall return to this later. 

All this forms the first part of Benedetto's work; the second half con- 
tains the text of the most famous MS of all, fr. 1116, correctly edited for 
the first time with textual notes and important passages from other MSS. 

1 Marco Polo: II Milione. Prima edizione integrale, a cura di Luigi Foscolo Benedetto. 
Firenze, 1928. I have reviewed this great v^ork at considerable length in TTie Asiatic 
Review, Oct. 1928, Jan. 1929, and April 1929. I have to thank my friend the editor, 
Mr F. J. P. Richter, for allowing me to make what use I like of it in the present work. 

2 The Yule-Cordier list consists of 92 MSS (85 in the 1903 ^\'ork and 7 in Cordier's 
JVotes and Addenda of 1920), but, as Benedetto has shown, 14 are either duplicates, mis- 
taken references, or are not MSS at all. Thus the total of 78 is obtained. 


In order to derive the full benefit afforded for the elucidation of the 
complicated mass of MSS, it is necessary to study both parts in con- 

As is only to be expected in research of this nature, it is impossible to 
find proofs for every statement, and in the reconstruction of lost originals 
there is plenty of scope for what amounts to little less than pure guess- 

I have never been able to understand exactly why Yule discarded 
fr. Ill 6, which he owned to be the best text, in preference for those used 
by Pauthier which were much inferior. His excuse that the awkwardnesses 
and tautologies in fr. 1116 prevented its use hardly seems sufficient to 
debar a scholar from attempting to overcome those difficulties. 

But Yule was no paleographist ; he was a commentator, and a very great 
commentator ; just as Cordier was a bibliographer. Benedetto, on the other 
hand, is both a philologist and a paleographist, and only such a scholar 
can give us the thread that will guide us safely through the labyrinthine 
intricacies of Polian manuscript tradition. 

As a close study of the works of these scholars is a sine qua non for every 
student of Marco Polo, it is to be regretted that Benedetto has not used 
Yule's chapter enumeration for facilitating reference, in addition to his 

Owing to the fact that Benedetto's work is limited to only six hundred 
copies, that it is in Italian, and that its high price places it quite outside 
the reach of students, I make no excuse for giving here some account of 
the different groups of MSS as now first classified and described by him, 
together with such further information or comments as my own reading 
has suggested. 

We will consider the MSS under the following headings : 

1. The Geographic Text (fr. 1116). 

2. The Gregoire Version. 

3. The Tuscan Recension. 

4. The Venetian Recension. 

5. Ramusio's Version and the ante-F phase. 

I. The Geographic Text {fr. 11 16). 

As is only natural, Benedetto first discusses the precious MS at the 
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, fr. 1116 (formerly 7367). It was published 
in 1824 by the French Geographical Society, since when it has been known 
as the Geographic Text. Benedetto refers to it as F. Although that letter 
also includes all French MSS (twenty in number) in this group, fr. ni6 


is its only complete representative. We know little of its history, except that 
it is supposed to have come from the old library of the French kings at 
Blois. It is round this MS that scholastic controversy has chiefly centred, and 
since the appearance of Yule's magnum opus we have been perfectly content 
to accept the view that in fr. i ii6 we have a direct representation of what 
Marco Polo dictated to his fellow-prisoner in Genoa. 

In the light of Benedetto's new evidence we find that we have to re- 
consider the whole question. In the end we shall see all our pet theories 
destroyed, with little hope of settling points concerning the early history 
of the book until various new lines of research have been exhausted to 
their utmost. 

At first sight this may seem a hopeless position, but one thing is certain, 
and that is that we can never hope to clear up the history of any important 
work until we know what data we have to work on, and are satisfied that such 
data are arranged in their correct order, each separate item in its proper 
place. This, then, is the achievement of Benedetto. He has brought order 
into chaos. We are now in a position to ascertain what the MS tradition 
can teach us, and once we are on the right path there is no telling what 
headway may be made in the future. 

Our discussion opens in the prison at Genoa, where Polo's fellow- 
prisoner, a Pisan, is called in to help in the writing of the narrative. The 
name of this man is shown definitively to be Rustichello, instead of such 
forms as Rustician or Rusticiano^. It was natural to suppose that he had 
been chosen by the Genoese authorities because of his reputation as a 
writer of French Arthurian legends. Scholars have, therefore, been at 
pains to compare the style of fr. i ii6 with that of his other works. They 
have considered (Yule especially) that the language of fr. 1116 is much 
more crude, inaccurate, and Italianized than that of Rustichello's other 
romances. This supported the theory of Polo's dictation, which, it was 
said, clearly betrayed itself in the halting style of the narrative. 

Benedetto, however, after comparing numerous passages of fr. 1 116 with 
portions of Rustichello's other works, has found practically identical 
phrases and idioms, some of which clearly betray the same hand. From 
this he argues that the same care and diligence that produced the romances 
also produced fr. 11 16 — in other words, that Rustichello did not copy 
down at Polo's dictation, but produced fr. 11 1 6 (or rather a version of 

^ It should be noted that Yule fully realized that the form Rustichello was the correct one 
(see his Introduction, p. 63). He only used Rusticiano as being the nearest to the form given 
in his text. Certain reviewers have credited Benedetto with the sole discovery of this. 


which that manuscript is a descendant) after a prolonged and detailed 
study of all the notes with which Polo supplied him. Polo was no trained 
writer, and, moreover, would not trust himself to present his story in a 
style acceptable to Western ears after his prolonged absence in the East. 
Here was a professional story-teller ready to hand! What more natural 
than to allow him to "write up" the work, after supplying him with all 
the necessary information ! As Benedetto puts it : 

"Compito espresso di Rustichello dev' essere stato quello di stendere in 
una lingua letteraria accettabile quelle note che Marco, vissuto cosi a 
lungo in oriente, non si sentiva cfi formulare con esattezza in nessuna 
parlata occidentale. Abbiamo intravisto abbastanza com' egU, assolvendo 
un tal compito, sia rimasto fedele alio stile ed alia visuale dei romanzi 
d'awentura. Ma non possiamo dire nulla di piu." 

Thus the style of fr. 1116, with all its "story-teller" mannerisms, does 
not necessarily betray dictation, but rather the usual style of a professional 
romance writer, who saw in Marco Polo a King Arthiu* come to life! 
Moreover, as regards the ItaUan words, we find quite a large percentage 
of them in fr. 1463, a MS which we know was not dictated. I may note in 
passing that Ramusio, in the Introduction to his version (to be discussed 
later), neither states that Polo dictated his work, nor that a Pisan had any- 
thing to do with it. He says that Polo was "assisted by a Genoese gentie- 
man" who "used to spend many hours daily in prison with him," and 
helped him to write the book. It has always been taken for granted that 
facts had become muddled, and it was Rustichello the Pisan to whom 
reference was made. Now Benedetto argues (pp. xxxi et seq.) with con- 
siderable skill that fr. 11 16 must represent only a later copy of the original 
Polo-Rustichello compilation. Might it not be possible that Ramusio, so 
correct and reliable in other points, is also correct here — and that one of 
the numerous Genoese, who without the slightest doubt did visit Polo, 
became very friendly with him, and helped in the editing of the work, 
in addition to Rustichello?^ 

However this may be, the fact remains that we must no longer regard F 
as the one and only direct and immediate descendant of the original 
Genoese text. Nor must we imagine that all subsequent recensions can 
be traced back to F. As will be seen later, they originate in lost prototypes 
dependent on lost MSS which we must regard as brothers of F. The 
Cottonian Codex Otho D. 5 at the British Museum, fragmentary though 
it be, is of importance in proving that the Franco-Italian recension was 
diffused, as well as all those MSS dependent on purer French texts. 
^ This suggestion was made to me by the Rev. A. C, Moule. 


2. The Grigoire Version. 

A detailed study of this version has led Benedetto to believe in the 
existence of a lost version, F^, very akin to F, but containing just those 
differences necessary to the production of an elaborated version (the lost 
FG) from which the Gregoire group is descended. In order to prove that 
FG is not a revision of F, as hitherto believed, it is necessary to determine 
the exact status of F^ and to reconstruct it as far as possible. 

This can be done chiefly by comparing the existing types of FG with F. 
This will show that F does not possess all the points necessary to produce 
FG — some of the lacunae should be different, and certain passages should 
be much more detailed. Thus the FG group must come from a MS similar 
to F, but certainly not F itself This lost MS is Benedetto's F^. F and F^ 
can, therefore, be regarded as brother MSS. 

We now examine FG as a separate group. Yule only knew of five MSS, 
while Benedetto has been able to add another ten. He divides FG into 
four sub-groups. A, B, C, and D. These again are subdivided into single 
MSS which are closely connected. Thus B has seven subgroups, of which 
B^ and B^ are closely related. So also B* and B^. B^ differs slightly firom 
these two latter, while B^ and B' form a more collateral branch. By 
arranging the MSS in this way a genealogical table can gradually be 
built up. 

I might note in passing that Pauthier's "A" type, which formed the 
basis of his, and Yule's, translation, consisted of A^; his "B" type of A^; 
and his "C" of B*. B^ and B* (to which now must be added B^) are 
especially interesting, as they bear the curious certificate of one Thibault 
de Cepoy, on which Pauthier placed such great importance. It appears 
that Thibault was a captain in the service of Philip the Fair. After be- 
ginning as valet and squire, he rose to the rank of Grand-Master of the 
Cross-bow men. He then entered the service of Charles de Valois, Philip's 
brother, who sent him to Constantinople to substantiate his claim to the 
throne on the grounds that his wife, Catherine de Courtenay, was the 
daughter of Philip de Courtenay, titular Emperor of Constantinople. 
Thibault left Paris on September gth 1 306, and proceeded to Venice, where 
he concluded a treaty of alliance in December, 1 306. During his stay 
there he met Marco Polo, who in August, 1 307, presented him with a copy 
of his book, inscribed as "the first copy of his said Book after he had made 
the same." After Thibault's death, his son Jean made a copy of the book, 
which he gave to Charles de Valois. He also made other copies for those 
of his friends who asked for them. 


The three MSS mentioned above thus describe in the Note attached 
to them Polo's gift to Thibault, and how copies of it came to be distributed 
in France. 

The great importance that Pauthier attached to these MSS on account 
of the Note has long since been proved quite unjustifiable. Although 
Yiile realized this, he still made Pauthier's MSS the basis of his own 

Benedetto has entirely discredited the Note and will not even allow 
Thibault to give his name to the group at all. He points out that it is 
impossible to believe that no copy of Polo's work should have been made 
until 1307. Certainly it is, but where is the evidence to prove it was made 
in 1307? Perhaps it had been written in 1299, and Polo had kept a copy 
by Wm for any important presentation such as this. Or, on the other 
hand, there may be something in Langlois' suggestion^ when he says: 
"Mais, avant 1307, Ser Marco avait du faire a bien des gens semblable 
politesse, peut-etre avec des protestations analogues qu'il la faisait pour 
la premiere fois. ..." 

Benedetto credits Gregoire with being the founder of this group because 
his name appears on two of the MSS (A^ and A^), while the date of the 
work is given as 1308 on the groimds that "this present year 1308" ap- 
pears on another of the MSS (D). I cannot feel convinced, however, 
that Benedetto has proved his point in preference to accepting the original 
Thibault copy as the earliest extant MS of the group. 

As I have already mentioned, FG is subdivided into four main groups. 
Among these, A^ is the beautifiil MS fr. 2810 at the Bib. Nat. containing 
266 miniatures, of which 84 belong to the travels of Marco Polo, occupying 
the first 96 folios of the MS. 

3. The Tuscan Recension. 

At the commencement of the fourteenth century a Franco-Italian ver- 
sion of the original Genoese prototype was translated into Tuscan. It 
must have been very similar both to F and F^, and czxi therefore be 
called F^. 

We possess five copies, which Benedetto has called TA^-^. Of these TA^ 
is the famous MS II. iv. 88 of the Bib. Naz. at Florence, better known as 
the Codex della Crusca. 

The other copies are at the Bib. Naz. Florence {TA^'^)\ the Bib. Nat. 
Paris {TA^); and the Bib. Laurenziana {TA^). 

^ Histoire LittSraire de la France, Tome xxxv, Paris, 1921, p. 255. 


The Tuscan group contains two other versions which must be men- 
tioned. The first is a Latin one (Bib. Nat. lat. 3195) in which the Tuscan 
translation is corrupted by Pipino's version (to be mentioned later). 

It was this text which formed the basis of H. Murray's English transla- 
tion in 1844. It was pubhshed in 1824 by the French Geographical 
Society in the same volume as fr. 11 16. 

The second is a free resume of TA found in the ^ibaldone attributed to 
Antonio Pucci (d. 1388), the Florentine poet. 

Owing to the differences found in the sub-groups of TA, it is necessary 
to utilize them all in attempting to restore the prototype of TA. Although 
TA^ is the oldest codex, it is incomplete (as also TA^) and less close to F 
than the others. 

When we have restored TA as best we can with the help of all the sub- 
groups, we find that we have a complete text save for the omission of 
certain historic-military chapters and some minor details. It is of assistance 
in revising certain corruptions in F, as some of the lacunae in fr. 1116 could 
not have existed in F^ from whiqh TA is descended. 

4. The Venetian Recension. 

This group is of the utmost importance, and contains over eighty MSS. 
In order to fully appreciate the extensive ramifications of its sub- and 
sub-sub-groups, it is necessary to study the genealogical table given by 
Benedetto on p. cxxxii. 

It is, moreover, of particular interest to us, as it contains the Spanish 
version of Santaella, the English translation of which is reprinted in the 
present volume. A glance at the table referred to above shows that the 
primitive Venetian codex is represented by five MSS {VA^-^). Although 
VA^ and VA'^ are the only complete ones, VA^ is by far the most important, 
as it consists of the Casanatense fragment (Bib. Gas. 3999), which is a 
direct descendant from the prototype which served as the source of Fra 
Pipino's famous version. The great fame that this version achieved from 
its first appearance, and the eulogistic manner in which Pipino referred 
to his sources, led to the popular opinion that the Venetian version was 
nothing less than Polo's original ! Gonsequently, the Pipino texts are more 
widely distributed than any others. To the previously known twenty-six 
MSS Benedetto has added another twenty-four. These fifty must be supple- 
mented by seven more in the vulgar tongue, besides a very large number of 
printed versions. Nearly all the important European Hbraries possess one 
or more Pipino MSS. There are several copies in the British Museum, 
while others will be found at Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, and Dublin. 


Of particular interest is the MS which once belonged to Baron Walcke- 
naer. Benedetto describes it correctly as being in a volume containing 
other matter, including a version of the Mirabilia of Jordan de Severac. 
He regrets that its present locality is unknown, and conjectures that it 
has probably found its way to America. Both Yule and Gordier had 
previously made similar statements as regards the MS itself, yet only last 
year my friend, the Rev. A. G. Moule, "discovered" it properly catalogued 
and indexed at the British Museum!^ 

When scholars and bibliographers^ can pass over such fully recorded MSS, 
we can the more easily imagine that many unknown Polian treasures may 
still lie in European libraries wrongly catalogued, or not catalogued at all. 

The fame of Pipino's version is well attested to by the numerous transla- 
tions of it which exist — in French, Irish, Bohemian, Portuguese, and 
German. The French translation exists in two MSS, one at the British 
Museum (Egerton, 2176), and the other in the Royal Library at Stock- 
holm. The Irish version is that in the famous "Book of Lismore," dis- 
covered in such a romantic manner^ in 1814. The Bohemian version forms 
part of God. Ill, E. 42, in the Prague Museum, and dates from the middle 
of the fifteenth century. Benedetto considers, however, that the MS is 
copied from a still older Pipino text. The Portuguese translation was 
printed at Lisbon in 1502 (reprinted 1922). 

The first printed Latin text appeared about 1485, while a second edition 
(1532) was included in the famous collection of travels known as the Novus 
orbis regionum ac itisularum veteribus incognitarum. It was edited by Simon 
Grynaeus, but actually compiled by Jean Huttichius. The text is corrupt, 
and has been considered by many to be a retranslation from the Portu- 
guese of 1502. 

There were several editions of the Novus orbis — 1535, 1537, and 1555*, 
as well as translations — German (1534), French (1556), Gastilian (1601), 
and Dutch (1664). Apart from this, Andreas Miiller reprinted the Latin 

1 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April, 1928, pp. 406 et seq. The MS is numbered 
Add. 1 95 1 3. 

2 Even when Gordier printed the entire Table of Contents of Walckenaer's volume 
in Les Merveilles de VAsie, 1925, p. 44, he gave no indication that here was the long-lost 
Polo text. 

^ See Yule, Vol. i. pp. 102 et seq. of his Introduction. 

* Apparently the 1555 is the most complete edition. There is a fine copy of this in the 
Grenville Library at the British Museum (G. 7034), which contains the map that is so 
often missing. 


in 1 67 1 on which was based the French translation in Bergeron's Voyages 
faits principalement en Asie (1735). 

The text of Ramusio (to be more fully discussed shortly) can be re- 
garded as based on a version of Grynaeus, so that it is fundamentally a 
Pipinian text. 

Apart from Pipino's version (P) and also that of an anonymous Latin 
writer [LB)^ a group of six Tuscan translations of the Venetian {TB^-^) 
must be added. This Tuscan group in its turn gave rise to a German 
translation {Ted.) and another Latin one {LA). 

We now turn to a group based on a MS similar to that which gave 
rise to the Tuscan group. It consists of two distinct sub-groups, the first 
of which comprises: {a) a fifteenth century Venetian MS at Lucca (Bib. 
Governativa, No. 1296^), and {b) a Spanish version from a Venetian 
codex, translated into English by John Frampton in 1579. 

The second is also of importance as it consists of a mass of MSS and 
printed texts based on the early Venetian edition of 1496. 

The Lucca MS is a paper codex of seventy-five pages, containing a brief 
epitome of Odoric besides the text of Polo. On the verso of the last page 
we are informed that it was completed on March 12 th 1465 by one 
Daniele da Verona. The Spanish (Castilian) version of Santaella was 
taken from a MS of 78 folios, without pagination, which once belonged 
to the Biblioteca del Colegio Mayor de Santa Maria de Jesus at Seville. 
After the separation of the College and University in 1771 it entirely 
disappeared, and was given up as lost. Years later it was discovered \vdth 
a number of papers in the garret of an old building belonging to the 
College, and is now preserved in the Biblioteca del Seminario of Seville. 
The manuscript is described by La Rua^ as a quarto volume, written in 
two inks, in contemporary binding, somewhat deteriorated by the action 
of the weather. It contains 135 chapters (as in the present translation), 
and was completed on Aug. 20th 1493. All Santaella's editions are of 
extreme rarity, and it is hard to say for certain how many there were, or 
even to be sure of the date of the first edition. 

As far as I can ascertain, the first edition was that described by Salva 
{Catdlogo de la Biblioteca de Salva, Vol. 11. No. 3278), and published at 
Seville on May 28th 1503. There is a fine copy at the British Museum 
(C. 32. m. 4.) which has been fully described by Yule (Vol. 11. p. 566). An 
edition of 1502 is mentioned in some detail by Don Fernando Colon, but 

^ Yule wrongly refers to this MS as No. 296 (Vol n. p. 544)- 
^ Maese Rodrigo, p. 52. 


as he gives the same printers and exactly the same date for the completion 
of the work (May 28th) as in the 1503 edition, it would seem that an error 
has been made. 

The work was reprinted at Toledo in 1507, and, after the author's 
death, at Seville in 15 18 and 1520, and again at Logroiio in 1529^. This 
latter edition is also at the British Museum (G. 6788), and for all we know 
may be the actual copy used by Frampton. The excessive rarity of the 
work fully justifies such a possibility. 

Turning, now, to the second sub-group, we find a large number of 
Venetian MSS and printed texts all based on the edition printed by Sessa 
in 1496. This edition was derived from a MS which, like the Lucca, began 
with an epitome of Odoric. Owing, however, to a large lacuna after the 
first folio, it has not only been sadly reduced, but the first chapters of 
Marco Polo itself have also suffered heavily. 

Apart from these mutilations, and the fact that in places the text is 
abbreviated and somewhat corrupt, the early Venetian printed edition 
is identical with both the Lucca text and that of Santaella. 

Without going further into the relationships of the various branches of 
the Venetian recension, we will pass on to Ramusio and the earlier con- 
nected MSS. 

5. Ramusio' s Version and ante-F phase. 

In 1550 the first volume of a collection of travels appeared under the 
editorship of one Gian Battista Ramusio, an illustrious member of a noble 
Italian family of Rimini. In 1556, another volume (Vol. iii) was issued, 
while Vol. II, containing Ramusio's account of Polo's travels, did not 
appear until 1559 — two years after the editor's death. 

Other editions of the Navigationi et Viaggi, as the collection was called, 
soon followed, and the "Ramusian Recension" of Marco Polo took a 
unique place of honour in Polian tradition. 

Ramusio was a good scholar, and enjoyed a great reputation for learning 
and critical research. His chief pursuit was geography, and he is beheved 
to have opened a school for its study in his own house at Venice. In fact, 
everything we know about him compels us to treat his work with the 
utmost consideration and credence, as he fully justifies his title of "the 
Italian Hakluyt." Bearing this in mind, we can more readily appreciate 
the disappointment with which Yule had to record the absence of those 
MSS from which Ramusio had obtained certain parts of his information. 
Turning to the volume itself, we find that in a letter to his friend Jerome 
^ For details of all these editions see La Rua, op. cit. pp. 198-201. 


Fracastoro, Ramusio speaks of his sourceSj clearly indicating Pipino's text 
as well as another di maravigliosa antichitd. Although Ramusio's text was 
at first ignored, its great importance has been gradually established, until, 
with Benedetto's discovery of ^, it is a sine qua non in helping to trace the 
earlier stages of the history of the book. At the same time, he admits that 
it is a composite text — sbocco a tradizioni gid sicuramente corrotte — and there- 
fore cannot be used as a basic text, especially when compared with F. 
Benedetto would analyse the Ramusio text as containing: {a) Pipino as 
the original and principal base; {b) three other MSS, F, L, and VB\ 
[c) the newly discovered MS, /^, which corresponds to the Ghisi codex 
mentioned by Ramusio himself 

The history of the Milan copy of /^, so far as it is known, is very inter- 
esting. It is taken from an old lost Latin Codex Zeladiano, copied in 1 795 
by the Abate Toaldo to complete his collection of Polian documents. The 
original of this copy must be identified with the MS cartaceo zn-8°, del sec. xv., 
mentioned by Baldelli-Boni, who says it was left by the will of Cardinal 
Zelada to the Biblioteca Capitolare of Toledo. A close inspection of ^ 
shows it to be a Latin version of a Franco-Italian codex, distinctly better 
than F. But, as we shall see later, ^, as represented in the Milan MS, is 
by no means complete. 

The first three-quarters of /^ seem like an epitome of a much fuller text, 
but after Chap. 147 i*' is faithfully followed, while the additional passages 
point to a pre-i^ codex, which must have been considerably more detailed 
than F. Benedetto suggests that the copyist of ^ began with the idea of 
a limited selection of passages, but gradually became so interested in his 
work that he eventually found himself unable to sacrifice a single word. 

A point of prime importance with regard to ^ is that it clearly betrays 
Polo's mode of thought, showing that, as far as it goes, it is a literal transla- 
tion of an early text now lost. This is also supported by the fact that the 
names of peoples and places appear in /^ in less corrupted forms than in 
F or subsequent texts — e.g., Mogdasio, Silingi, etc. 

The various indications of /^'s anteriority to F suggest a subsequent sup- 
pression of certain passages by a copyist or by the cumulative work of 
several copyists. A large percentage of these passages occur in Ramusio, 
while some are found in ^. In those cases where ^ only resembles an 
epitome, we must conclude that Ramusio had access to a text closer to 
the archetype of .^ than ^ itself We can call this text ^^. We can, there- 
fore, agree that if .^, as represented by the Milan text (Y. 160 P.S.), can 
account for unique passages only in the latter part of Ramusio, it is not 
unreasonable to conclude that he had a complete ^ text before him (/^^), 


and took all the unidentified chapters in the first half of his book from it. 
The discovery of the archetype of both ^ and Z^ would doubtless help to 
settle the question. 

We now come to F, Z,, and VB. They can be looked upon as coming 
somewhere between F and Z- They are of value because they occasionally 
contain passages neither in F nor in ^. 

F" is a curious Venetian recension (Staatsbib. Berlin, Hamilton 424*) 
which has undeniable echoes both of a Franco-Itahan and a Latin text. 
It contains about thirty unique passages, and was undoubtedly used by 
Ramusio. L is an interesting Latin compendium represented in the four 
following codices: Ferrara, Bib. Pubb. 336NB 5; Venice, Mus. Gorr. 2408; 
Wolfenbiittel, Bib. Com. Weiss. 4I; and Antwerp, Mus. Plantin-Mor. 60. 
They are practically identical, and represent the best compendium of Marco 
Polo extant. Its Franco-Italian origin is proved by the survival of certain 
expressions which, not being understood, have been retained unaltered. 
It was probably used by Ramusio, though this cannot be said for certain. 

Taken together, V and L must be regarded as closely related to, but 
distinctly a sub-group o^ Z^ and Z- 

VB is a Venetian version (Dona della Rose 224 Civ. Mus. Corr.) differing 
from any of the Venetian recensions we have already discussed. Two 
copies exist: one in Rome (Bib. Vat. Barb. Lat. 536I) and the other in 
London (Brit. Mus. Slo. 25I). VB shows signs of a Franco-Italian origin, 
and in two cases contains details ignored by F, but preserved by Z- O^^ 
the whole, however, this is the worst of all Polian texts, and it is a pity 
that Ramusio used it at all. 

To sum up, we must not blind ourselves to the undoubted defects of 
Ramusio. Here is a man who has selected a distinctly ragged garment 
(P), with the intent to make it look new by the addition of various patches 
[Zi V, Z, VB). Some of the patches are of very good material, but others 
are frayed and badly put on, and, moreover, not always in the best places. 
They do not harmonize well with the cloth to which they are sewn. In 
some cases they have been trimmed a little, but then again we find in 
other cases that our repairer has added extra pieces of his own. 

Thus altogether, while the finished article contains much material, it 
does not approximate in any way to a complete and original garment. 

In spite, however, of all this, Ramusio remains an essential source in 
the reconstruction of the richer text by which F was preceded. It has 
continually been assumed that from time to time additions were made 
to the original work of Polo. The researches of Benedetto clearly show that, 
on the contrary, as time went on, impoverishments have occurred. 


Ogives occasional bits of folk-lore and details of intimate social customs; 
so also does the Imago Mundi of Jacopo d'Acqui (D. 526 Bib. Ambros.) 
called / by Benedetto. It may be that the church censored some of this 
material, for in the Z passages we have caught a glimpse of Marco Polo 
as the careful anthropologist, and how can we determine what curious 
and esoteric information was originally supplied to Rustichello? We do 
not find it hard to believe that there may well be some genuineness in 
the passage of Jacopo d'Acqui when he says in Polo's defence: "And 
because there are many great and strange things in that book, which are 
reckoned past all credence, he was asked by his friends on his death-bed 
to correct the book by removing everything that was not actual fact. 
To which he rephed that he had not told one-half of what he really 
had seen." 

The gradual decadence of the original text as proved in the cases of 
FG, TA, and VA must also have occurred in the stage anterior to F. The 
discovery of ^, the study of V and Z, the analysis of Ramusio, and the 
reference of certain elements to the lost Ghisi codex all seem to point to 
the fact that F was preceded by more conservative and more exact copies. 
/^, F, and L not only help to bridge the distance from F back to the original 
Genoese archetype, but also prove the richness of the latter and its gradual 
impoverishment. They show as well, that each of the three phases (/^, V 
and L, F) is dependent on the same original Franco-Italian text. Thus, 
apart from restoring the lost passages of F, they also bear witness to its 
unique importance and authenticity. 

Having thus briefly surveyed the five main groups into which, thanks 
to Benedetto's labours, we can now divide the Polian texts, it will be as 
well to summarize the conclusions : 

(i) Fr. Ill 6 of the Bibliotheque Nationale is the best Polo MS that 
has come down to us. 

(2) It does not represent a direct copy of the Genoese original, but 
is a later version, which, together with its three brother manuscripts, 
i^^'2.3, is described from a common Franco-Italian MS of earlier date, 
now lost. 

(3) From F^' ^' ^ were derived respectively the lost prototypes of the 
Gregoire, Tuscan, and Venetian recensions {FG, TA, VA). 

(4) Of these VA is the largest and most important, Santaella's Castilian 
version being made from a MS in one of its sub-groups. 

(5) There was an ante-F phase, as yet only represented by /^, L, V 
and VB. 


(6) Ramusio based his version on Pipino, with additional help from 
all the MSS of the ante-F phase, as mentioned above. He also used one 
or more other MSS, at present undiscovered. 

(7) The most complete account of Polo's travels, therefore, consists of 
fr. Ill 6 as a base, supplemented by Ramusio, together v^ith a few unique 
passages from other MSS. 


F all the Polian problems which still remain unsolved, or at any 
rate not entirely solved, the most important, and at the same time 
the most difficult, is that of the itineraries. We may well wonder 
what the EUzabethan readers made of Frampton's book. They read of 
places and customs of which they knew nothing, and of which, in many 
cases, nothing more was known until after 1 860 ! 

The marvel of Polo's achievement lies not only in the fact that he was 
the man who first drew aside for Western eyes the curtain veiling the 
"mysterious East," but that so many of the places visited and localities 
described remained un visited again for over 600 years. 

The curtain, pulled aside for a moment to reveal a world as unknown 
and amazing as it appeared unreal and fantastic, was soon to fall again. 
The audience had been charmed and amused, but that was all. For the 
majority it had been but a clever story, one which in later years the 
admirers of Galland might have enjoyed. 

There were a few, however, to whom the real value of the work was at 
once manifest. Foremost among these was Christopher Columbus, whose 
copy (Pipino's Latin version) is copiously annotated in his own hand, and 
now lies in the Biblioteca Colombia at Seville (see Yule, Vol. 11. p. 558). 

When Frampton introduced it to England we like to think that the 
vdsh expressed in his Dedication — "that it mighte giue greate lighte to 
our Seamen, if euer this nation chaunced to find a paffage out of the 
frozen Zone to the South Seas" — ^was not made in vain, and that Drake, 
Ralegh and Frobisher eagerly devoured the work of their great pre- 

The clouds of scepticism and incredibility took a long time to disperse, 
but with the increasing light of subsequent discoveries the claims of the 
" Father of Geography " became accepted and his exaggerations explained. 
The identification of some of the places mentioned or visited by him still 
remains uncertain, while that of others has only been determined within 
the last few years. 


In some instances, when the identification of a town is almost certain, 
we find that Polo's itinerary places it on the wrong side of a river or double 
the distance that it really is from a previously mentioned locality. 

In order, therefore, to appreciate the difficulties in attempting to trace 
the itineraries, several points must be taken into consideration. In the 
first place, we must remember that we are not dealing with a single 
journey occupying a fixed time, but with many journeys spread over more 
than thirty years. 

In the second place, we know that while in the service of the Khan, 
Polo was sent on various missions. In some cases the outward route 
appears to have coincided with that taken on the return, but details are 
sadly wanting. In other cases we suspect a slightly varying return route, 
necessitated, it may be, by differences of natural conditions. A fordable 
stream in the summer may become a raging torrent in the winter. As we 
shall see later, some such explanation may account for the difficulties in 
deciding the route at the crossing of the Hwang ho. 

In the third place, we cannot always be certain that Polo is describing 
places on an itinerary at all. Two distinct possibilities at once suggest 
themselves. At times he may be speaking of places and peoples visited by 
the elder Polos alone, which information merely served as a supplement 
to that dependent on the actual itinerary being followed. Such seems to 
have been the case with the Turfan — Camul — Sachiu section. On the 
other hand, he may be quoting from local reports and the gossip of native 
traders. Thus we are still uncertain whether he personally visited either 
Karakorum or Baghdad. Unfortunately, Polo does not carry out his 
promise made in the Prologue that he will clearly differentiate between 
things actually seen, and those only heard about. 

Finally, we must not forget the circumstances under which the book 
was written. The Polos had arrived back in Venice in 1295, and in 1298 
Marco was taken to Genoa as a prisoner of war. Thus over two years had 
elapsed in which he must have related his travels constantly, and, we 
imagine, gone through his notes, continually adding and altering as his 
memory, or those of his father and uncle, dictated. 

After Genoa had become fully acquainted with the oral relation of his 
travels, as Venice had done previously, we can well appreciate Marco's 
wish to have his notes with him if his experiences were to be put into 
writing. Accordingly, these precious notes were sent for. Ramusio tells 
us about them in his famous Preface to Vol. 11 of Delia Navigationi et 
Viaggi. It was considered by some editors that Ramusio had invented this 
passage himself, but we may well ask how Polo could possibly have 


remembered such details as are found in his Book. In view of this, it is 
both interesting, and at the same time reassuring, to read the remarks 
of Sir Aurel Stein on the subject {Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc. Aug. 191 9, Vol. liv. 
p. 103): 

"We have seen how accurately it reproduces information about terri- 
tories difficult of access at all times, and far away from his own route. 
It appears to me quite impossible to believe that such exact data, learned 
at the very beginning of the great traveller's long wanderings, could have 
been reproduced by him from memory alone close on thirty years later 
when dictating his wonderful story to Rusticiano during his captivity at 
Genoa. Here, anyhow, we have definite proof of the use of those ' notes 
and memoranda which he had brought with him,' and which, as Ramusio's 
'Preface' of 1553 tells us (see Yule, Marco Polo, Vol. i. Introduction, p. 6), 
Messer Marco, while prisoner of war, was believed to have had sent to 
him by his father from Venice. How grateful must geographer and 
historical student alike feel for these precious materials having reached 
the illustrious prisoner safely!" 

In returning to the Book itself, we find that the first nineteen chapters 
of the best MS extant (fr. 1116) form a kind of general introduction to 
the whole. Most editors, accordingly, have given it the name of 
"Prologue," and divided it into what we may call an Invocation and 
eighteen chapters. 

Frampton, however, while also having a Prologue, does not divide it 
up into chapters, nor does he end it in the customary and obviously correct 
place. He stops short after the presentation of the Polos to the Khan. 
Thus the first four chapters of Frampton appear in other editions as still 
part of the Prologue. 

The first half of the Prologue deals in the briefest possible manner with 
the journey of the elder Polos, performed in the years 1 260-1 269 while 
Marco was but a boy in Venice. 

In the second half of the Prologue no itinerary of the outward journey 
is given at all. We are merely told of the double start from Acre, the 
enthusiastic reception by the Khan, the reluctance with which he let them 
depart after seventeen years' employment in his service, and their being 
chosen as escort of the princess Gocachin (Kukachin), bride-elect of 
Arghun, Khan of Persia. 

As the journey overland would be too strenuous for a lady, they decided 
to travel by sea, and started, apparently from Zayton (? Chiian-chau), in 
1292. Their route to Persia lay via Little Java (Sumatra) and the Sea of 


India. Depositing their charge, they continued to Trebizond, Con- 
stantinople, and Negroponte, finally reaching Venice in 1295. 

Thus the Prologue ends, and we can now begin our attempt to trace 
the route from Acre to K'ai-p'ing fu, as described by Polo in Chapters xx- 
Lxxv of fr. 1 116; i.e. Book i of Yule, and Chs. 5-52 of Frampton. 

Leaving Acre for the second time in Nov. 1271, on reaching Ayas 
(Frampton's "Gloza") once again, the Polos found the Egyptian invasion 
of Syria an obstacle to their taking the usual eastern caravan route (as 
well as to the enthusiasm of the two friars who were going to convert the 
East to Christianity!), and so they were forced to turn north-eastward. 
Thus Polo starts by giving a brief description of Lesser Hermenia (the 
classical Cilicia), Turconomia (Anatolia) and Greater Hermenia (Ar- 
menia). His route apparently was Laias, called Gloza by Frampton 
(the modern Ayas) — Casserie or Casaria (Kaisariya) — Savast or Sevasta 
(Sivas) — ^Arzingal or Arzinga (Erzingan) — Argiron (Erzerum) — Arzizi or 
Darzizi (Ardjish, near lake Van) — Toris or Tauris (Tabriz). This agrees 
with Yule as far as Argiron, but after that he prefers to include in the 
itinerary every place mentioned in the text, whereas I regard them as 
mere annotations to the main route. Thus from Argiron Yule makes Polo 
go to Mus (Mush) — Meridin (Mardin) — Mausul (Mosul) — Baudas or 
Baudac (Baghdad) — Bastra or Bascra (Basra) — the Persian Gulf — Kisi or 
Chisi (Kish or Kais) — Curmosa or Ormus (Hormuz). Arzizi is left out 
of the itinerary altogether, while Toris and all places between it and 
Kirman are taken to refer to the return of the Polos ^. I fail entirely in 
finding sufficient evidence to justify Yule in his preference. 

First of all let us consult the actual passages in the best text extant 
(fr. 1 1 16). Here we read: "The most noble city is ArQingal which is the 
See of an archbishop. Others are Argiron and Dargigi. . .It is bounded 
on the south by a Kingdom which is called Mosul ... on the north it is 
bounded by the Jorgiens of whom I shall tell you more later." This 
corresponds practically verbatim to the texts used by Yule. In Ch. xxrv 
of fr. 1 116 (Ch. V of Yule) the kingdom of Mosul is described briefly. 
We are then told that Baudas is a great city. This is all. There is not a 
word about Mus or Meridin in any of the French MSS. They are merely 
mentioned in Ramusio as producing cotton. Yet Yule considered this 
sufficient evidence to include them all in his itinerary, at the same time 
completely ignoring Arzizi which occurs in all the best texts. But quite 
apart from this, a traveller at Erzerum having Mosul as his objective 

^ See Yule's Map 1 in Vol. i. p. i of his edition of Marco Polo. 


would certainly find the Tigris his best medium of progress. He would 
reach it from Mush either directly by the tributary the Batman Su, or 
else via Bitlis and the Bitlis Su. Mardin, forty miles to the west of the 
Tigris, would be quite out of the line of march. 

But to continue, Polo next tells us that a river flows through Baudas, 
and that as you descend it you pass through Bastra and reach the Sea of 
India (Persian Gulf) at Kisi. Now surely if Polo had visited Baghdad 
personally and sailed through the Gulf of Hormuz he could never have 
placed Kisi (Kish) on the Tigris, when it is only about 165 miles from the 
mouth of the gulf Furthermore, it seems very strange that he entirely 
. omits to mention the buildings of the city, nor does he refer to the Tigris 
by name, or describe it at all, as he usually does when meeting with a 
large and important river. Finally, the five chapters devoted to the taking 
of Baghdad and the legend of the blind cobbler strike one as mere repeti- 
tion, and in no way support the theory of a personal visit to the city. 
I imagine that these details were picked up by Polo on his return home, 
and, being fresh in his memory, found a place in the narrative when 
speaking of the locality in question. 

So also I would account for the mention by Ramusio of the castle of 
Paipurth (Baiburt) between Trebizond and Tabriz, as well as the convent 
of St Leonard. 

Turning to the alternative route which I have suggested above, if Polo 
did go to Tabriz from Erzerum, he would naturally skirt the northern 
shores of Lake Van, and mention some place near the lake. And this is 
exactly what he does; for Arzizi is close to the lake and in a direct line 
between Tabriz and Erzerum. 


After Toris (Tabriz) I would give the itinerary as: Saba (Saveh) — • 
Kashan — ^Yasdi (Yezd) — Bafk — Kirman — Hormuz, where, finding the 
boats unseaworthy, they decided to continue their travels by land. So 
retracing their steps to Kirman by a different route, they crossed Persia 
in a north-easterly direction. Polo describes the journey from Kirman 
to Hormuz in detail, but as Yule has brought his travellers down the 
Persian Gulf to Hormuz he is forced to make Polo describe his itinerary 
backwards at this point. This is so highly improbable that unless some very 
good reason is given, its acceptance is quite impossible. Thus, when Sir 
Percy Sykes challenged the statement in 1905 {Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc. 
Vol. XXVI. pp. 462 etseq.), we expected an adequate explanation by Gordier, 


but this was not forthcoming. Instead of answering the points at issue, 
he contented himself by saying that Baghdad was not off the main route 
for some years after its fall. 

In view, therefore, of all the above facts, it would seem certain that we 
must entirely abandon any attempt to trace the itinerary, either on the 
outward or on the return route, via Baghdad and the Persian Gulf. We shall 
require much more convincing evidence than we have at present before 
we can accept the position that Yule has given it. 

The itinerary from Kirman to Hormuz has always been a puzzle, and 
even now it is impossible to be absolutely sure of the route. Yule has 
devoted a long note to it (Vol. i. pp. 110-115), so that it is unnecessary 
to go into any great detail here. 

Polo tells us that from Kirman you ride seven days over a plain country 
when you come to a great mountain, and having reached the top of the 
pass, you find a great descent which continues for a good two days. The 
intense cold experienced after leaving Kirman is especially noted. At the 
end of the descent you reach a vast plain with the city of Camadi at the 
beginning of it. The name of the province now entered is Reobarles. After 
crossing the plain in five days, you find another descent of twenty miles 
at the foot of which lies the Plain of Formosa. Two more days bring you 
to the sea at Curmosa, i.e. Old Hormuz, to the east of Bandar Abbas. 

One of the various routes with which the above description had been 
thought to coincide, is that followed by Abbott and Smith running S.S.E. 
from Kirman through the Deh Bakri pass and across the plain of Jirupt and 
Rudbar, over the pass of Nevergun to the coast ; the Plain of Formosa 
being the plain of Harmuza between Nevergun and the present site of 
Old Hormuz near Minab. 

The latter part of this suggested route seems to be practically certain, 
but Gen. Houtum-Schindler has pointed out that the more westerly Sardu 
route from Kirman via Jupar, Bahramjird, over the Sarvistan pass, down 
a two-days' descent to the ruins now called Shehr-i-Daqianus (Camadi), 
and so to the plain of Jirupt and Rudbar, fits Polo's description much 

This, then, is the route marked on the map opposite. On compariso/i 
with that facing page 11 2 of Yule's first volume, it will be seen to lie in 
its northern portion, between that given by Yule himself and that fol- 
lowed by Smith. As we have already mentioned, on arriving at Hormuz, 
Polo found the ships unseaworthy and accordingly returned to Kirman. 
This seems to me to be so clearly stated that with this fact added to all the 
previous evidence against the Persian Gulf route, I am unable to discover 

The Itinerary from Kirman to the coast and the return Journey 


any evidence whatsoever in support of Yule's theory. Polo tells us that 
the return route to Kirman led through some very fine plains, and that 
you pass natural hot springs which cure skin diseases, and that there are 
plenty of partridges as well as dates and bitter bread. All these details 
fit the Urzu — Baft route rather than the Tarum — Sirjan route, which 
latter was that suggested by Yule. The medicinal springs occur both at 
Qal'eh-i-Asghar and Dashtab, and the bitter bread is found only at Baft 
and in Bardshir. 

On departing from Kirman, the route continues through a desert for 
seven days to Cobinan (Kuh-Banan). As the direct line of march via 
Zerend is only ninety-five miles, and Polo especially speaks of waterless 
deserts, it has been suggested that he went via Kuhpayeh and the desert 
lying to the north of Khabis. This seems to me too far east and quite un- 
necessary to account for the seven days' march. I suggest the route to the 
west of Kuhpayeh running through desert and hilly country to Ravar. 
From here he would take the westerly road to Cobinan via Tara. This would 
give an average daily march of a little over twenty miles, which is not 
at all unreasonable in this sort of country. 

Eight days more, also through a desert, brings Polo to the province of 
Tunocain (Tun-o-Kain), but his exact itinerary at this point is not easy to 
determine. Ithas been discussed by many people, including Yule, Sykes, and 
Sven Hedin. Yule supposes that he travelled to Tebbes (or Tabas), while 
Sykes favoured the eastern route via Naibend. The evidence of Sven Hedin 
{Overland to India, Vol. ii. Ch. xl; reprinted in Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 27) 
in support of the Tabas route is so convincing that we need have no 
hesitation in accepting it. As will be seen from the accounts of the re- 
spective routes given at the above references, that from Kuh-Banan to 
Tabas agrees both with Polo's description and also with his distances. 
On the other hand, that from Kuh-Banan via Naibend to Tun does 
neither. In fact Sven Hedin quotes Sykes ^ to show how his description 
of the stage after Duhuk disagrees with Polo. It seems probable that Polo 
went to Tabas via Bahabad, which is not only on the route, but is the 
branching-off place for caravans going from Tabas to Yezd. Sven Hedin 

^ It was very disappointing to find nothing of any value in a recent article by Sykes 
in The Nineteenth Century, May 1928, p. 682. In fact, he skips all the difficulties: he 
ignores Cobinan, and even gives a wrong impression of the itinerary, for after informing 
us that Tonocain "represents Tun and Cain," he mentions the Assassins and continues: 
"Upon resvuning the account of their journey, we find oiu^elves at Balkh. ..." Thus, 
not only are the various suggestions neither stated nor discussed, but the six days' journey 
through fair plains and the city of Sapurgan are entirely omitted. 


actually met such a caravan at Tabas which had arrived from Sebsevar 
(Sabzawar), north of Tun. 

When Polo arrived at Tabas he was in one of the "many towns and 
villages " which he mentions as being in the province of "Tonocain." From 
Tabas he undoubtedly proceeded to Tun, probably via Bushruieh, but 
whether he also called at Kain we have no means of ascertaining. After 
Tun our difficulties in no way decrease, because Polo interrupts his 
itinerary to tell us about the Arbre Sec and the Old Man of the Mountain. 
When he returns to it again he is no longer at Tun, but at the "Castle" 
of the Old Man. It is almost impossible to decide where this "Castle" 
was. It may have been some ruined fortress which merely served as an 
excuse for telling Polo a romantic story which was the common property 
of the East^. It should be remembered that the number of "Castles" in 
Persia, as well as in Syria, had been steadily growing since the founder 
of the Assassins, Hasan Shabah, had seized the fortress of Alamut ("Eagle's 
teaching "2), near Kazvin in 1019. 

I consider, therefore, that in attempting to assign to the "Castle" of 
Polo a definite locality such as Alamut, Yule has deflected the itinerary 
much too far north. Thus he has been led to include Sebsevar (Sabzawar), 
Nishapur and Meshed in the route, giving it a most improbable right- 
angled turn just south of Shahrud and Bustam. No wonder he was sur- 
prised that none of the cities were mentioned in the narrative. Moreover, 
had Polo been going on to Sebsevar, etc., he would never refer to Tun-o- 
Kain as "the extremity of Persia towards the north." But what finally 
disposes of this suggested itinerary is the further evidence of Sven Hedin, 
who shows that the Sebsevar — Meshed road does not agree with Polo's 
description of "fine plains and beautiful valleys, and pretty hillsides 
producing excellent grass pasture. ..." This kind of country extended for 
six days, and then he arrived at Sapurgan. 

Now this place has been identified with the modem Shibarghan, about 
seventy miles west of Balk, so that six days of fine plains could not possibly 
be anywhere near Meshed, as they must directly link up with Sapurgan. 
Thus we can have no hesitation in accepting Sven Hedin's suggestion that 
the six days must have been passed, after crossing the nemek-sar (salt 

^ See Prof. D. S. Margoliouth's article "Assassins" in Vol. n. of Hastings' Ency. Rel. 
Eth. ; the anonymous ditto in Ency. Islam ; and E. G. Browne, Literary History of Persia, 
Vol. n. pp. 1 90-2 1 1 (especially pp. 206-8). 

* This appears to be the correct meaning in spite of the article in Ency. Islam, p. 249. 
See Browne, op. cit. sup. 


desert^ east of Tun and Kain, in the ranges Paropamisus, Firuz-Kuh, and 
Band-i-Turkistan . 

To sum up, then, I would give the itinerary north from Kirman as: 
Cobinan (Kiih-Banan) — Bahabad (?) — Tabas — ^Tun — Kain (?) — nemek- 
sar — Herat, or some other place near or in the Paropamisus range — 
Firuz-Kuh (Firozkohi) — Band-i-Turkistan — Maimana(?) — Sapurgan (Shi- 
barghan) . 

From Sapurgan Polo went to Bale (Balk), the "Baldach" of Frampton; 
thence to Dogana, the identification of which is still uncertain. Neither 
Ramusio nor Frampton mention it at all, but proceed straight to Taican 
or Thaychan (Talikan) which they both give as being two days' journey 
from Balk. This is obviously wrong, as the distance between these two 
places is at least 140 miles (Yule gives it as 170, but this is excessive). 

On turning to the French texts, we find that after speaking of Balk, 
they say: "Now we will leave this city, and I will tell you of another 
called Dogana." We are not told the distance between Balk and Dogana, 
nor are we given any details of the latter place, for the texts immediately 
continue: "When one leaves this city that I have been telling you about, 
one goes a good twelve days (bien xii jornee) between north-east and 
east. . .and. . .when one has gone this twelve days (doge jornee) one finds 
a fortified town (caustiaus) called Taican." 

The passage contains several difficulties. In the first place, what was 
the city that he has been telling us about ? Does he mean Balk or Dogana ? 
If he means the latter, as being the last mentioned, it seems obvious that 
there is a lacuna in the texts ; but if he is referring to Balk we are still 
vmable to adjust the distances, for the journey between Balk and Talikan 
would be easily accomphshed in seven days. 

Yule suggests that the "XII" is a mistake for "VII." If we accept 
this, it follows that "this city that I have been telling you about" was 
Balk, not Dogana. From the passage quoted above it will be noticed that 
the second mention of the distance is written' in full, "Doge" or "Doze," 
but this need not upset Yule's contention of the mistake in copying, for 
the scribe having once written "XII" a few lines above in mistake for 
"VII" would certainly have written it in full as "doge." 

The next point we must try and decide is the identification of Dogana. 
Yule is unable to make any satisfactory suggestion, and the interpretation 
given by Parker (see Cordier, op. cit. p. 34) with such assurance 
is quite unacceptable. He would connect it with the Chinese T'u-ho- 
lo or Tokhara. The limits of Tokharistan as given both in the Chinese 
annals and works of the Arabic geographers included a large part of 


Badakhshan as well as Chitral, Kafiristan and Kabul. Thus it in no way 
fits into Polo's itinerary. Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever to 
show that the name was used in Polo's day at all. 

As we have already seen, Dogana must lie somewhere between Balk 
and Talikan, and from its method of introduction cannot possibly be a 
district of the size of Badakhshan, still less of the classical Tokharistan. 
Correspondence with Prof. Sten Konow of Oslo has entirely convinced 
me of this. In one of his letters he makes a most interesting suggestion 
after consulting Dr Morgenstierne, the well-known authority on Iranian 
languages. It is possible that Dogana is directly connected with the 
Persian dogma, "double," because it was a "double district," embracing 
two main cities or two rivers. A glance at a large scale map will show 
that such a district exists to the west of Talikan, where the Ak Sarai 
branches into two main streams, on each of which is a city — Kunduz on 
the westerly and Khanabad on the easterly branch. It seems, therefore, 
that we are probably right in accepting Yule's reading of "VII" for 
"XII," and must look upon Dogana as being introduced en passant simply 
because it was the local name Polo heard appUed to the Kunduz-Khanabad 
district as he was travelUng to Talikan. 

From Talikan he reaches Casem (Kishm) in three days, and the same 
distance again brings him to Badashan (Badakhshan). The line of march 
is quite clear, but we must not insist on a too definite determination of 
Badashan, because the district now bearing that name stretches south- 
westwards past Talikan and north-eastwards to the great bend of the Oxus 
at Kala Khum. It is hard to say if it extended so far west in Polo's time, 
but the approximate localization is identical. 

After telling us of Badashan, Polo adds that the province of Pashai lies 
ten days to the south, and, later, that Keshimur is another seven days 
from Pashai. This is a digression, and really belongs to the information 
Polo acquired about the incursion of Nogodar into Kashmir, as men- 
tioned by him previously in the chapter on Camadi (see Appendix I. 
Note 102). 

As this route is of considerable interest, we too will make a digression 
in order to discuss some of the queries raised. Polo is talking of the 
Caraonas and explaining the methods of attack employed by them. Their 
king, he tells us, is one Nogodar, nephew of Chaghatai ; and he goes on 
to relate how this man made an expedition through Badashan, Pashai-Dir 
and Ariora-Keshemur, and how that after subduing all these provinces, 
he entered India at the extreme point of a province named Dalivar, and 
seized the government from Asedin Soldan. 


Yule has given us most interesting notes on many of the difficulties in 
ascertaining the actual route taken by Nogodar, but the identification 
of some of the localities, such as Ariora, has only recently been made 
possible owing to the explorations and research of Sir Aurel Stein. He 
has dealt fully with the whole itinerary m. Journ. Roy. Geog. Soc. Aug. 19 19, 
pp. 92-103. It will suffice, therefore, to give here his conclusions, with a 
brief note on "Ariora." 

Badashan is, of course, Badakhshan, the province lying to the north 
of the Hindukush, and which Polo describes in some detail. Pashai-Dir 
is a copulate name: Pashai being a tribal designation apphed to an area 
in Kafiristan which stretches to the south-east as far as the Kunar river 
and the tracts lying to the west of Dir. This wider application of the term 
Pashai has only been known since the results of Sir George Grierson's 
research on the Dardic languages have been published in the Linguistic 

It is now possible to appreciate "Keshimur" as being seven days' 
journey from Pashai. Dir, which, by the way, does not appear in fr. 11 16, 
has long since been recognized at the head of the western branch of the 
Panjkora river. The next locality is also a copulate name : Ariora-Keshe- 
mur, but here again I would point out that "Ariora" does not occur in 
fr. II 16, or in Ramusio. 

Stein has now identified it with the modem Agror^, the hiU tract on 
the Hazara border which faces Buner on the east from across the left 
bank of the Indus. Keshemur is, of course, Kashmir. 

With regard to Dalivar it would appear that Marsden's original sug- 
gestion was quite correct, and the name is a misunderstanding of "Citta 
di Livar," for Lahawar or Lahore. 

The name of the ruler, Asedin Soldan, has been definitely identified 
with Ghiasuddin, Sultan of Delhi (i 266-1 286). 

The complete itinerary from Badashan would be, then, in all probability 
as follows: Badakshan — across the Mandal pass — down the Kafir valley 
of Bashgal — Arnawai on the Kunar river — across the Zakhanna pass — 
Dir — down the Panjkora river — Chakdarra — across the Mora-Bazdana 
pass in Lower Swat — Bajkatta in the Buner district — the Indus at Amb, 

^ Sir George tells me that since he wrote his account of Pashai our knowledge of both 
country and language has been greatly extended by Morgenstierne in his Report on a 
Linguistic Mission to Afghanistan. 

2 In his edition oi Marco Polo, Charignon tells us that it corresponds to Haripur on the 
left bank of the Indus. His authority for this curious statement is entirely lacking. 
Incidentally, I was not aware that Haripur was on the Indus. 


or Darband — over the Hazara district at about the latitude of Mansehra 
— the Jhelum near Muzaffarabab. 

We now return to Badakhshan whence the itinerary continues E.N.E. 
for twelve days to Vokhan (Wakhan), and thence another three days 
north-east to the plain of the Great Pamir. The French texts merely tell 
us that Polo found a fine river running through a plain, but Ramusio 
also mentions "a great lake." This could be either Lake Victoria or Lake 
Chakmak, but is probably the former (see Stein, Innermost Asia^ Vol. n. 
pp. 858 et seq., also Ancient Khotan, Vol. i. pp. 30 et j^^.; and Serindia^ Vol. i. 
p. 65). He now describes a twelve days' desert ride across the plain, 
followed by another forty days of continuous desert tracts without any 
green thing to relieve the dreariness and monotony. To this country he 
gives the name of Bolor. 

It is clear, then, that the itinerary could not have passed through the 
cultivated valleys of Tash-Kurghan or Tagharma, and Sir Aurel Stein 
reasonably suggests {Ancient Khotan, pp. 40-42) that, after visiting either 
the Great or Little Pamir, he travelled do\vn the Ak-su river for some 
distance, and then, crossing the watershed eastwards by one of the 
numerous passes, struck the route which leads past Muztagh-Ata (24,000 
ft.) and on towards the Gez defile. Previous suggestions of the itinerary will 
be found in Yule, Vol. i. pp. 173 et seq. 

The route continues to Kashgar and then turns south-east past Yangi- 
Hissar to Yarcan (Yarkand) and Cotan (Khotan). 

He mentions Samarkand en passant, but was obviously never there 
himself, and obtained his information jfrom his father and uncle. From 
Khotan the route runs to Pein and Charchan, and thence, in five days, 
to Lop. 

The position of Pein, the "Pimo" of Hiuen-Tsiang (Hsiian-tsang) , has 
led to much speculation. Sir Aurel Stein would identify it with Uzun- 
tati, now forming part of a debris-covered area, thirty-five miles to the 
west of Keriya river. But Huntington {Pulse of Asia, pp. 387-8) shows that 
both distances and descriptions fit Keriya itself much better. (See further 
Charignon, Marco Polo, Vol. i. pp. 105 et seq.) From Pein the itinerary 
continues east through Niya to Charchan and along the Charchan river 
to Lop (Charkhlik) ; thence in a north-easterly direction past Miran and 
Kum-Kuduk, along the Su-lo-ho to the Khara-Nor, thirty miles S.E. of 
which lies Tun-huang, or Sha-chau (Polo's "Sachiu") on the Tang-ho, 
a tributary of the Su-lo-ho. 

At Tun-huang an important digression occurs, and Polo tells us of the 
Turfan-Hami district to the north-west. Its interest lies not only in the 


fact that it presents unsolved identification difficulties, but also that in all 
probability it formed part of the route of the elder Polos, and joined the 
itinerary we are following at Tun-huang. 

In the leading MSS the localities mentioned are Camul (Hami) and 
Ghinghintalas, to which must now be added Carachoco (Kara-Khoja) 
which is mentioned in the newly found J^ manuscript. 

As Benedetto would identify this later place with Kara-KLhoto^, it is 
necessary to show how it agrees with Kara-Khoja in every detail, and 
is also a means of helping us to locate Ghinghintalas. From the map 
opposite it will be seen that Camul (Hami) lies about 200 miles N.N.W. 
of Sachiu (Tun-huang). After describing Camul, Polo says: "Or laison 
de Camul et vos conteron des autres que sunt entre tramontaine et maistre. 
Et sachies que ceste provence est au grant can." He then continues: 
"Ghinghintalas est une provence que encor est juste le desert entre 
tramontaine et maistre. Elle est grant XVI jomee. Elle est au grant 
can." Thus it is clear that Ghinghintalas lies N.N.W. from Tun-huang 
past Hami. 

Turning for a moment to the ^ text (Benedetto, p. 46 note c) we find 
that in the very middle of the Camul chapter is inserted a passage which 
may help us in identifying Ghinghintalas. 

It begins as follows: "Icoguristam quedani piovincia magna est et 
subiacet magno can. In ea sunt civitates et castra multa sed principalior 
civitas Carachoco apellatur. Civitas ista sub se multos alias civitates et 
castra distringit." Now there is only one place that fits in with all the 
data, and that is Kara-Khoja, the ancient capital of Turfan, the ruins 
of which, dating down to Uigur times, have been proved so rich in archaeo- 
logical spoil (see Stein, Innermost Asia, Vol. i. pp. 587-609). 

The Turfan territory was known in medieval times as Uighuristan, 
being the chief seat of the Uigur domination. Thus we have no difficulty 
in identifying both the " Icoguristam" and " Carachoco" of the .^passage. 
We have seen from the above quotation that Carachoco "subiacet magno 
can," and it is this statement that should help us to locate Ghinghintalas. 
Yule, thinking that Kara-Khoja lay to the N.W. of Turfan, instead of 

1 Kara-Khoto is a ruined town on the Etsin-gol, 1 35 miles N.E. of Mao-mei, and is 
to be identified with Polo's "Etzina," as we shall see later. Benedetto appears to have 
been misled partly by the similarity of name. Seeing the statement supported by Cav. de 
Filippi in his review in Joum. Roy. Geog. Soc. March 1928, 1 challenged the identification, 
and a correspondence ensued. Filippi wrote to Sir Aurel Stein for his opinion, and the 
results were published in Journ. Roy, Geog. Soc. Sept. 1928, pp. 300-302. The identifica- 
tion of Carachoco with Kara-Khoja was definitely established. 


to the S.E., pointed out (Vol. i. p. 214) that it would be outside the Khan's 
boundary, yet Rashid-ud-din, the famous Persian historian, a contem- 
porary of Polo, distinctly says it was a neutral town on the border-line. 
He also tells us that a point near Chagan-Nor (lat. 48° 10'; long. 99° 45') 
was also on the boundary. Now if we take this boundary-line to run in 
a semi-circle from Kara-Khoja to Chagan-Nor, we can surely place 
Ghinghintalas in the neighbourhood of Barkul. 

Thus we would be "au grant can," as the Z text tells us it is, and also 
N.N.W. ofHami. 

After coming to this conclusion, I found that in his edition of Marco 
Polo, Vol. I. pp. 141 etseq., Charignon had reached the same identification, 
but by entirely different means — etymological grounds and evidence of 
Chinese tradition. Thus there would seem to be little doubt that in Ghin- 
ghintalas we must recognize the Barkul district lying to the N.N.W. of 
Hami, and to the N.W. of the Karlik-Tagh. 

Returning to Tun-huang (Sachiu), we continue our main itinerary 
eastwards. Ten days' ride E.N.E. brings the travellers to the province 
of Succiu whose chief city bears the same name. This is according to the 
reading in fr. 1 1 1 6 ; but Yule speaks, not without considerable hesitation, 
of the province of Sukchur and the town of Sukchu. 

Whatever reading we adopt, it is obvious that the province and town 
of Suhchau (Su-chow) are meant. 

Polo tells that during these ten days' journey you find practically no 
dwellings, and that there is nothing of interest to report. It is hard to 
decide for certain the exact route followed, but after leaving Tun-huang 
the most natural route (according to Stein's maps of the district) would 
be north-east to the Su-lo-ho at An-hsi, along the line of the ancient 
limes (the fortified border constructed by the Chinese Emperor Wu-ti in 
the latter half of the second century B.C., recently discovered by Stein, 
Serindia, Ch. xv, sec. ii-v) to a point marked Shih-erh-tun, where it would 
drop south-west to Suhchau. The other alternative would be nearly due 
east from Tun-huang. After visiting the cave temples of Thousand 
Buddhas to the south-east of the city, he would continue due east to the 
small oasis of Tung-pa-t'u, visit the cave temples on the T'a-shih river, 
follow the river to Shih-pao-ch'eng and reach Ch'ang-ma-pao-tzii on the 
So-lo-ho via its tributary the Sha-ho, whence Suhchau would be reached 
by a weary ride through gravel steppe and stony scrub slopes^. 

^ It is impossible to follow these alternative routes without reference to Maps 41 and 
42 of Stein's Chinese Turkistan and Kansu (or ditto. Innermost Asia, Vol. iv). 

The ancient cities of Kara Khoja and Kara Khoto 
(Reproduced by special permission from tbe recent surveys of Sir Aurel Stein) 


The former route seems much preferable, and if he took it we need not 
be surprised that he makes no mention of the limeSj because in the first 
place, unless it lay directly in his path, he might never have noticed it^, 
and in the second place he even omits all mention of the Great Wall 
which commences at Suhchau, or rather at Chia-yii-kuan fourteen miles 
to the west of the city. 

Proceeding in a south-easterly direction, Polo reaches Canpicion, or 
Campichu, the capital of Tangut. In this we have little difficulty in 
recognizing Kan-chau, the chief city of Kansu. Before continuing to 
Erguiul we have another digression — this time to Karakorum via the 

As we are quite ignorant as to whether Polo visited Karakorum person- 
ally, it would be waste of time to try to ascertain his point of departure 
from the main route. If, however, it was Kan-chau his route would lie 
in a large semi-circle to the north-east along the Kan-chau river to Mao- 
mei, where the name changes to Etsin-gol after its confluence with the 

Turning to the text, we find in fr. 1116 the following words as a kind 
of introduction to the digression: 

"Et por ce nos partiron de ci et aleron seisante jornee ver tramontaine." 

After twelve days' ride you reach Egina, or Etzina, described as "chief 
dou desert do sablon, ver tramontaine." 

As Cordier originally suggested, this town has proved to be on the 
Etsin-gol, and has now been identified with Kara-Khoto, the "Black 
Town," first visited by Col. Kozloff in 1908-9, and again by Stein in 
his Third Journey of Exploration (see Innermost Asia, Vol. i. pp. 435-506). 

As has already been mentioned, it was this town that Benedetto and 
Filippi identified with the "Carachoco" of the y^ text, instead of Kara- 
Khoja. De Filippi objected to the site of Kara-Khoto for Etzina because 
Polo describes the latter as a pastoral and agricultural community, whereas 
Kara-Khoto has proved rich in cultural relics. As I pointed out in Journ. 
Roy. Geog. Soc. Sept. 1928, p. 302, de Filippi appears to forget the fate of 
Kara-Khoto under the ruthless hand of Chinghiz Khan in 1226. Polo 
knew of it only as an agricultural community, and perhaps only a small one 
at that (see Lattimore, Jowrn. Roy. Geog. Soc. Vol. lxxii. Dec. 1928, p. 510). 

On the other hand, the large remains and important yields of Kara- 
Khoja, the old capital of Turfan, fully justify Polo's description of it 
already quoted (p. xliii). 

^ See, for instance, Plate 191 facing p. 344 oi Innermost Asia, Vol. i. 


Another forty days north lies Caracoron, of which Polo gives us prac- 
tically no description at all, but appears to introduce it merely to include 
a long account of the wars of Prester John and Chinghiz Khan, together 
with the "customs of the Tartars." It is, of course, quite possible that 
he may have visited it during his long service with the Khan. 

After speaking briefly of the Plain of Bargu and the provinces as far 
north as the Ocean Sea, Polo returns once more to Kan-chau, whence 
five days' ride brings him to Erginul, or Erguiul, which has been identified 
with Liang-chau fu. Eight days more takes him to Egrigaia, a province 
whose capital is Calacian, or Calachan. It appears that here Polo takes 
the route running north-west through Alashan, instead of following the 
Great Wall to the south-east of Liang-chau fij ; and that Ning-sia fu and 
Ting-yiian-ying represent Egrigaia and Calacian respectively. 

The province of Tanduc, which is mentioned next, is not easy to identify. 
It must include the district lying in the neighbourhood of the great northern 
bend of the Hwang ho, while what evidence we have leads us to favour 
the modem Tokto as its chief city. 

After riding seven days eastwards through the province. Polo comes to 
a city called Sindachu, or Sindaciu, which Yule and others would identify 
with Siuen-hwa fu (Hsiian-hua fu), the Siuen-te-chau (Hsiian-te chou) 
of the Chin dynasty. This may possibly be correct, but it seems curious 
that Polo should turn south-east towards Cambaluc (Peking) when he 
was going north-east to the Khan's summer residence at Chandu. We 
must not forget that in the Prologue Polo tells us that the Khan sent 
people a full forty days' journey to meet them, so at this point the Polos 
were already accompanied, and would not have gone to the capital by 
mistake thinking the Khan was in residence at the time. 

Yule's text continues: "Now we will quit that province and go three 
days' journey forward. At the end of those three days you find a city 
called Chagan-Nor." This Yule would place to the west of the Anguli- 
Nor where there are many small lakes taking their names from neigh- 
bouring towns. It will thus be seen that if we accept Siuen-hwa fu, the 
itinerary bends back to Chagan-Nor before continuing to Chandu. This 
seems most improbable. 

Thus I would doubt Yule's suggested identifications. Charignon {op, 
cit. Vol. I. pp. 255 et seq.) considers "Syndatui" to be the ancient Hing- 
Houo (Chang-pei), fifty kilometres north-west of Kalgan. He also pro- 
duces evidence to show that Chagan-Nor (Ciagannor of fr. 1116) lay 
some considerable way to the east of Anguli-Nor. 

These identifications certainly deserve our close consideration, for apart 

The Route from Ch6ng-ting fu (Acbaluc) toSi-ngan fu (Kenjanfu) and the crossing of the Hwang ho 


from historical evidence they correspond with Polo's distances and enable 
us to trace the itinerary in a north-easterly sweep via Hing-Houo and 
Chagan-Nor to Chandu, or K'ai-p'ing fu, twenty-six miles to the north- 
west of Dolon-Nor. 

Having safely conducted our worthy travellers to the presence of the 
Khan, we will proceed to the Chinese itineraries. 

Polo gives us no details either as to the nature of the missions on which 
he was sent during his long service with the Khan, or as to the 
number of such missions. We have already suggested that he may have 
visited Karakorum when in the Khan's service. In his Preface, Polo 
speaks of continually going on missions, and when preparations were 
being made for the escorting of the fair Cocachin to Persia, we find he 
suddenly turns up from some mission to India. It will thus be seen that 
we must not attempt to include in the itinerary every place mentioned in 
the text, as the information given may have been picked up on a previous 
journey to be included here simply because we are somewhere in the same 
locality. As we shall see later, this is apparently what has happened in 
the case of Java. 


The first long journey given in detail is that through South-Western 
China to the Province of Mien, or Burma. 

In attempting to trace this itinerary we shall continually be faced with 
such difficulties as have been enumerated at the beginning of this section 
of the Introduction. 

Alternative routes present themselves at places, while on other occasions, 
unless slight errors in Polo's distances and geographical details be allowed, 
we find it impossible to complete the itinerary satisfactorily. At first the 
route is clear. Starting at Cambaluc, on the site of which is the modern 
Peking, it goes ten miles to the Pulisanghin river (Hun-ho), then thirty 
miles to Goygu or Juju (Cho-chau). One mile further Polo reaches 
branch roads, the western one leading through Cathay, and the southern 
one through Manzi. He takes the former, and, according to Ramusio, 
reaches Acbaluc (Ch'eng-ting fu) in five days. In another five days he 
arrives at Taianfii (T'ai-yuan fu), whence he reaches Pianfij (P'ing-yang 
fu) in seven days more. It is after leaving this place that our troubles 
begin. In two days he is at the "Castle of Caichu," which is described 
as being twenty miles from the Caramoran (Hwang ho) river. Two days 
later he is at Casiomphur, Cachanfu (P'u-chau fu), and at Bengomphu, 
Kenjanfu (Si-ngan fu) in another eight days. 


The identity of the "Castle of Caichu" is unknown. Other forms of 
the word appear as Caicui, Caiciu, Caicin, Caytui, etc. ; while Ramusio 
alone gives it as Thaigin or Taigin. 

Yule suggests its identification with Ki-chau, a place lying about fifty 
miles from P'ing-yang fu, but not more than eight or nine miles from the 
Hwang ho (although Yule describes it as "just about 20 miles" from it). 
He would then trace the route either down the west bank of the river, 
or else on the river itself, to a point opposite P'u-chau fu, and then on to 
Si-ngan fu. Now Polo tells us that the "castle," or perhaps "fortress," 
is two days' ride westward of Pianfu, and that after crossing the river at a 
point twenty miles west of the "castle," he reaches Gachanfu (P'u-chau 
fu) in two days, which place, he says, is on the west of the river. This latter 
statement is a mistake, as P'u-chau fu is on the east of the river. Whether 
it is due to a lapse in Polo's memory, an error in his notes, or merely a 
slip on the part of the copyist, seems to be immaterial. 

An alternative route has been suggested by Baron von Richthofen. He 
points out that Caicui or Caichu may be, as Marsden originally con- 
jectured, Kiai-chau, or Chieh-chau, near the salt marsh halfway between 
P'ing-yang fu and the fortress T'ung-kwan on the Hwang ho; and that 
Ramusio's Taigin may be Tai-ching-kwan (locally pronounced Taigin- 
kwan) close to P'u-chau fu. Thus as both forms can be separately identi- 
fied, he would suggest that Polo passed one of these places on his outward, 
and the other on his return journey. From P'ing-yang fu he would go to 
Kiai-chau, on to T'ung-kwan, and so to Si-ngan fu; while on his return 
he would re-cross the river at Tai-ching-kwan and reach Kiai-chau again 
via P'u-chau fu. 

The sketch-map opposite clearly indicates these alternative routes. It 
will be seen that either might be correct, but we have to make certain 
concessions whichever we accept. If Polo is to be taken literally when he 
says that the "castle" is two days west of Pianfu, Richthofen's theory 
cannot be correct. Added to this is the fact that the distance to the lake 
is rather too long (eighty miles) for a two-days' march. Kiai-chau is 
twenty-six miles from the river, which, according to Polo, is too far, just 
as the distance of Ki-chau was too short. Finally, it is only one day's 
march from Kiai-chau to the river, so that there seem to be a number 
of difficulties to overcome before we can accept this itinerary. The only 
objections I can see to Yule's route is that Ki-chau is W.N.W. of P'ing- 
yang fu, and is too near the river. The only other suggestion I can offer 
is that Siang-ning, which is forty-three miles from P'ing-yang fu and 
eighteen from the river, is the "castle." In either case I think Polo must 


have descended the river by boat if he was to reach P'u-chau fu in two 

After leaving Kenjanfu (Si-ngan fu), the itinerary runs over difficult 
country across the Tsin-ling-shan, through the Han kiang valley, across 
the Ta-pa-shan, and then through the fertile regions of the province of 
Sze-ch'wan to the capital, Sindafu (Ch'eng-tu fu). The only trouble here 
is that Polo took forty-five days to do the journey, while recent travellers 
have shown that it can be done quite easily in six or seven days. 

It is possible, of course, that some of his figures are wrong, or that 
certain delays occurred which he has counted in his reckoning. From 
Sindafu five days' journey brings the travellers to "Tebet," which must 
be taken as commencing at the mountainous region near Ya-chau. Pro- 
ceeding in a S.S.W. direction through uninhabited country for twenty 
days, Polo arrives at the town of Caindu (Kien-ch'ang, usually called 
Ning-yuen fu in modern maps). Continuing now due south through the 
beautiful valley of Kien-ch'ang, with the mountainous and inhospitable 
country of the Lolos on his left and Menia on his right. Polo crosses the 
Kin-sha kiang at its great bend due north of Yunnan fu. He now enters 
the province of Yunnan (Carajan), and after five days' journey reaches 
the capital, Yachi, or laci (Yunnan fu). 

Ten days' travelling westwards (really W.N.W.) through the province 
of Yunnan brings Polo to the town of Carajan (Ta-li fu) . Five days more 
to the west takes him to Cardandan, or Zardandan (the "Nocteam" of 
Frampton), the land of the "Gold-teeth" people. Although its exact 
locality cannot be stated with absolute certainty, it can be taken as being 
a district near the present Yunnan-Burma boundary. Polo gives its capital 
as Vocian, Vochan, the "Nociam" of Frampton, in which we recognize 
Yung-ch'ang, half-way between the Mekong and the Salween. In the 
map of Burma issued by the Indian Survey (191 8, corrected 1925) it 
appears as Pao-shan-hsien. The itinerary now becomes very confusing 
and it is not possible to trace it with certainty across the frontier, through 
Burma, and back again to Sindafu. We must, I think, agree with Yule 
in concluding that Polo never went personally further south than the city 
of "Mien." But let us see what he tells us himself in the French texts. 
On leaving Yung-ch'ang (Pao-shan-hsien), there is a great descent which 
lasts for two days and a half, at the end of which lies the province of Mien, 
or Amien, the "Machay" of Frampton. After travelling for fifteen days 
through an unfrequented and wooded country the city of Mien is reached. 

As Yule has pointed out, the real capital of Burma at the time was 
Pagan in lat. 21° 13', but fifteen days of overland travel would never be 



sufficient to reach so far. If, however, we take "Mien" to be Old Pagan, 
i.e. Tagaung on the Upper Irrawaddy in lat. 23° 28', the distances would 
be reasonable. 

In the first place we must try and determine the locale of the "great 
descent." Dr Anderson's suggestion that it is the descent into the plains 
near Bhamo need not detain us, nor need we consider further the route 
W.S.W. to Teng-yueh. After a study of altitudes and roads shown in 
Sheet No. 92 (3rd Provisional issue, 1926) of the "India and Adjacent 
Countries" series, I find it impossible to accept Yule's suggestion that the 
route lies direct to the Shweli valley. Yung-ch'ang is 5500 feet, and al- 
though the descent is continuous to the Salween, the altitudes in the 
vicinity of Pang-lung vary between 8000 and 10,000 feet. 

The communication of Mr H. A. Ottewill published by Cordier {Ser 
Marco Polo, p. 89) contains a much more likely suggestion : that from Yung- 
ch'ang Polo went south to Niuwang, gradually dropped down to the 
Salween, and after crossing it, proceeded to Lung-ling and so to Keng- 
yang. I would suggest the full itinerary here as follows: Yung-ch'ang — 
Takwanshih — Niuwang — Hsiang-tou-shan — the Salween — Hochia Chai 
— Chin-an-so — Pawan Chai — Lung-ling — along the Nam Hkawn, tribu- 
tary of the Shweli (Lung-chiang) — Keng-yang. After this, we are prac- 
tically reduced to guesswork, but if his objective was Tagaung he would 
surely have followed either the land route from Keng-yang to Mong Mau 
or Selan — Namhkam — Siu — Mabein — Pyinlaha (just across the river) — 
Tagaung; or else he would have continued along the Shweli to Myitson 
and then turned N.W. to Tagaung. 

This is, with but little doubt, the end of the present itinerary in its 
south-westerly direction. It is, however, practically impossible to say at 
what point we are on the return route to Sindafu (Ch'eng-tu fu). Polo 
speaks vaguely of Bangala (Bengal) ; Cangigu (? Upper Laos or Tonking) ; 
and Aniu, or Anin (? the district S.E. of Yunnan near Ami-chau, or 
Homi). We are now approaching Yunnan fu again, after which Polo 
seems to be following an itinerary once more. He mentions the province 
of Toloman, or Coloman (? N.E. of Yunnan fu to about Wei-ning), from 
which place he travels twelve days in an easterly direction through the 
province of Ciugiu (Yule reads "Cuiju") to the city of Ciugiu (Yule here 
reads "Fungul"). It is very doubtful which localities are meant, but if 
we have placed Toloman correctly, the distance and description would 
lead us to Sui fu in the province of Sze-ch'wan, at the point where the 
two chief branches of the Yangtze meet. If, however, Toloman stretched 
farther north, the town of Lu-chau opposite Nachi may be meant. Another 


Contour map showing the crossing of the Lu-chiang or Salween River 


twelve days brings Polo to Sindafu once again, so that unless the march 
was exceedingly slow, the city of Kiating fu would be too close to it to 
be the city of Ciugiu. In spite of the efforts of Yule and others to trace 
this portion of the route, it still remains very uncertain and at present 
our identifications are little more than guesswork. 

It should be pointed out that Frampton has avoided the whole 
difficulty by entirely ignoring all places between Mien and the road- 
bifurcation near Cho-chau, which he calls "Cinguy." (See Appendix I. 
Note 317, p. 019.) 

After leaving Sindafu (Gh'eng-tu fu), Polo travels seventy days back 
to Juju (Cho-chau). Apparently this is the end of the journey, although 
we are not told if he went on to Cambaluc before starting on his next 
mission to Manzi and south-eastern China. It seems highly probable that 
he did so, but he writes as if the itinerary was continuous, for having ar- 
rived at Juju, he says that four days south brings him to Cacianfu. In the 
next chapter, however, being still in Cacianfu, he writes: "We will now 
set out again, and travel three days to the south when you come to another 
city by name Cianglu." 

In studying the itineraries as described in his missions, we can definitely 
say that the Yunnan-Burma route ends at Cho-chau. 


Starting at Cacianfu or Cacanfu (Ho-kien fu), the itinerary runs three 
days to Cianglu (Tsang-chau) and thence five days to Ciangli (Tsi-nan fu), 
which Yule writes Chinangli. In another five days Polo reaches Tandinfu 
(Yen-chau), whence three days brings him to Singiumatu (Tsi-ning-chau). 
All is clear so far except that the account of Yen-chau fits T'si-nan much 
better. But after Singiumatu our troubles begin once again. Frampton, 
as well as Ramusio, speaks next of the Caramoran (Hwang ho), but the 
French texts make Polo go in turn to Linju, Piju, and Siju. The two latter 
have been fairly satisfactorily identified with Pei-chau and Su-t'sien, but 
"Linju" remains a mystery. 

Yule, taking a hint from Murray, would identify it with Lin-ch'ing 
just under the 35th degree of latitude (not to be confounded with Lin- 
ch'ing chau on the canal, in lat. 36° 51'). I have consulted all the old 
maps, and no two spell it exactly alike or put it in exactly the same 
place. It has, moreover, entirely disappeared from modern maps, unless 
it has become the Liuchuan in practically the same locality, north of 
Sii-chau fu. But it is a very small and insignificant place neither on 
the Grand Canal nor on the Hwang ho. The various forms of the name 


tell us nothing, being due merely to the mixing up of "n" and "u" in 
the MSS. We may, perhaps, gain some useful information by studying 
Friar Odoric's itinerary in the same district. 

He is travelling north from a city called Menzu "towards the mouth 
of that great river Talay (Yangtze)." Menzu has been identified with 
Chin-kiang, but in Polo the name remains unchanged. After eight days' 
travelling from this place, Odoric arrives at a city called Lenzin, "which 
standeth on a river called Caramoran." Continuing " by that river towards 
the east," he comes to a city called Sunzumatu (Polo's Singiumatu). The 
next place he mentions is Cambaleck (Peking) . Thus we see that ( i ) Odoric 
is on the same route as Polo, only going north instead of south; (2) he is 
only mentioning places of importance ; (3) his "Lenzin" would seem to 
correspond to Polo's "Linju." 

Now if we look at another section of Odoric's itinerary in order to 
ascertain his rate of travelling, we find that he goes from Cansay to Chilenfu 
(Hang-chau to Nan-king) in six days. Travelling from Menzu (taking it 
to be the modern Chin-kiang) at the same rate, eight days would bring 
him very near to Sii-chaufu, on the old course of the Yellow River (Hwang 
ho), or, if we go more east, to Han-chwang. Returning to Polo, we see 
that he takes three days to go from "Siju" to "Coiganju" (i.e. from Su- 
t'sien to Hwai-ngan-chau) . Taking this distance as the radius of a circle 
whose centre is at "Piju" (Pei-chau), we find that it will actually pass 
through Sii-chau fu, as well as Han-chwang. As a matter of fact, it also 
cuts I-chau fu, but this is right out of the itinerary. Now as the distance 
between "Piju" and "Linju" is the same — three days — it will be seen 
that as far as distances are concerned, as given both by Polo and Odoric, 
we are fully justified in making "Linju" the modern Sii-chau fu (34° 12', 

117*' 20'). 

We now turn to descriptions. Odoric gives none, but Polo draws atten- 
tion to the fact that although the inhabitants are great traders, they are 
also good soldiers. He adds that the necessities of life are found in abun- 
dance, and that the vessels transport much merchandise. In a certain 
secret report issued by the Admiralty during the war, I find these very 
points mentioned: the inhabitants are great traders, the town being the 
entrepot for merchandise from East Honan, South Shan-tung, and North 
Anhwei. At the same time they are described as having a military dis- 
position, while Sii-chau fti has a great reputation as a recruitinG^ centre. 
It lies on the great road from Peking to Nan-king, which is also the trade 
route for cart traffic. In Polo's time the shipping up the Hwang ho (dried 
up since 1851) must have been on a very large scale. 

i\ Hwfli-ngan- chiou 


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f ..... Polo's route ' vA<-i.'-fou J^ Ilfc^ .„ 

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f r^^~=~ T;V^/Cer/7«f/i'e sece/ons 

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\^y^^j-^.y~~./^^r^,r^ \\V-~f-.'^-^y--\^''--^-^~r^~^^^^^-~-.^~^^^ \'ia'^-^~^~~~—-^-~^~-^^-(~-~(-^;;^^y^-^^ 

1 ii» . -..'>./^^>^0 

The Grand Canal Route from Hwai-ngan-chau (Coigangiu) to Hang-chau (Kinsay) 
( Based, with permission from H . M . Stationery Office, on the 
Province of Kiangsu " map to semi-oflicial Admiralty publication) 


All this supports my suggestion; but if "Linju" is to be identified with 
Sii-chau fu, the itinerary will have to go slightly north to Pei-chau before 
continuing south to Su-t'sien and Hwai-ngan-chau. If, however, Han- 
chwang were "Linju," the direction would certainly be more in accordance 
with the text — that is, taking it absolutely literally. But in view of the 
fact that it is only a large village with apparently no past history, and that 
it is on the canal and not on the river, I have no hesitation in accepting 
Sii-chau fu in preference either to Han-chwang or any other place that 
can claim a possible agreement with the text. 

After leaving Siju (Su-t'sien), Polo travels three days to Coiganju 
(Hwai-ngan-chau), on the east bank of the Grand Canal, opposite which, 
on the other side of the river, lay the small town of Caigiu. No trace of 
this latter place exists and we must conclude that it has been claimed by 
floods many centuries since. One day's march takes our traveller to 
Pauchin (Pao-ying-hien), whence the same distance brings him in turn 
to Cayu (Kao-yu-chau), Tiju (Tai-chau) and Yanju (Yang-chau). It 
was at Yanju that Polo was "Governor" for three years, for which see 
Appendix I. Note 351, p. 227). Tinju is also mentioned, being described 
as a great salt centre lying between Tiju and the sea. In this we should 
in all probability recognize the modem Hsien-nii-miao (see Ser Marco 
Polo, p. 94). At this point Polo leaves the itinerary to tell us of "Nanchin" 
(Ngan-king on the Kiang, not to be confused with the famous Nan-king 
near the mouth of the river), and the siege of Saianfu (Siang-yang fu), 
for which see Appendix I. Note 353, p. 228. 

Returning to Yanju, the route runs fifteen miles to Sinju (I-ching-hien) 
and then on to Caiju (Kwa-chau) on the Kiang opposite the Golden 
Island and Chin-kiang fu, to which latter place he now proceeds. Three 
days more bring him to Chinginju (Chang-chau) and so to Suju (Su-chau), 
eighty miles west of Shang-hai. 

Between Suju and Kinsay (Hang-chau) the route is uncertain. Two 
alternatives present themselves: he either (i) continued to follow the 
canal, in which case the itinerary would be: Wu-kiang — P'ing-wang — 
Ka-shing — Shih-men-wan — Shih-men-che — Wu-li-t'ou — Hang-chau (or 
from Shih-men-che a shorter way would be via Ch'ang-an and Lin-ping) 
or else he (2) went from Ping-wang to Hu-chau, just south of the T'ai 
Hu, and then due south to Hang-chau via Teh-tsing, Tang-si and Wu-li- 
t'ou. The route across the lake is obviously not the one taken by Polo. 
Frampton jumps from Su-chau to Hang-chau without giving any details 
of the intermediate part. Fr. 1 11 6 mentions three distinct places : " Vugiu," 
"Vughin," and "Ciangan," which Yule calls respectively "Vuju," 


"Vughin," and "Changan." The question to be answered is — ^which of 
the above mentioned routes do these places fit the best ? 

I can see no need to go as far east as Sung-kiang to look for our route 
as Pauthier did. Ahhough fr. 1 1 16 is alone in giving three distinct localities, 
we find that all the best MSS agree in stating that Kinsay was reached 
from some place or other (the names vary) three days^ journey away^ and that 
during these three days a number of towns and villages were passed 
through. Surely, therefore, it is useless to look for any of the three named 
places within a three days' area from Kinsay. Thus I fail to see how we can 
expect to find them in the neighbourhood of Shih-men-che or Ch'ang-an, as 
Moule {T'oung Pao, July 191 5, pp. 393 et seq.) rather hesitatingly suggests. 

Now Hu-chau is forty-three miles, and Ka-shing sixty-three miles from 
Hang-chau (Kinsay). Thus either of these could be described as three days' 
journey away, but Ka-shing would seem preferable, being on the more direct 
route from Su-chau, and giving a fair average of over twenty miles a day. 

Returning to Su-chau we read that Polo goes one day's journey to 
" Vugiu." It has been suggested (Yule, 11. 184) that Wu-kiang is meant. 
But this is only eight and a half miles from Su-chau and has no past 
or present history of any importance. Any attempt at tracing the localities 
on etymological grounds seems hopeless. The only place of any importance 
that is roughly a day's journey from Su-chau (twenty-two miles) is P'ing- 
wang, which is still a market town of 800 houses. It may once have 
justified Polo's description as a "great fine city." His "Vughin" is "a 
great and noble city" with a large trade in silk and other merchandise. 
This I take to be Hu-chau. His *'Ciangan," a rich place with a good 
trade, I consider can be no other than Ka-shing. 

The complete section, therefore, I would give as : Su-chau — P'ing-wang 
— Ka-shing — Hang-chau . 

As Moule {op. cit. p. 411) has pointed out, Hu-chau and Hang-chau 
were very intimately connected, and I imagine Polo to have visited the 
former on the occasion of one of his numerous stays at Hang-chau. 

After leaving Kinsay, the itinerary runs in a general south-westerly 
direction to Kelinfii (Kien-ning fu), and thence to Zayton on the coast. 
The difficulty lies in fixing the route between Kinsay and Kelinfu, and 
again between Kelinfu and Zayton. 

In the first section, the places named are: Tanpiju — Vuju — Ghiuju — 
Chanshan — Cuju. Yule would identify these with: Shao-hsing — Kin- 
hwa — Kiu-chau — Sui-chang — Chu-chau respectively. On looking at the 
map, we see that Kiu-chau is right away from the itinerary, and no 
attempt is made to include it in the line of march in Yule's Map VI. 

From Kinsay to Zayton 


His arguments in support of his choice of Sui-chang and Chu-chau seem 
to be practically non-existent. In fact, his notes on pp. 221, 222 in no 
way prepare us for what we find in his map. 

Another route has been suggested by Mr Phillips : Fu-yang — ^Tung-lu — 
Yeng-chau — Lan-ki — Kiu-chau. Thus Kiu-chau is given as the identifica- 
tion of Cuju and not of Ghiuju. 

So far I am inclined to favour Phillips' choice. But to continue — in the 
second section, i.e. after Cuju, the itinerary runs to Kelinfu whence it 
goes to Unken, Fuju and Zayton. These three latter places Yule would 
interpret as Min-tsing, Fu-chau, and Chiian-chau respectively. Phillips, 
on the other hand, gives them as Yung-chun, Chiian-chau and Chang- 
chau. The evidence on both sides is given by Yule in his notes (pp. 229- 
245). The two routes are clearly marked on the map opposite. 

An unbiassed survey of the total evidence, aided by the better maps of 
to-day, convince me that Yule's identification of Cuju with Chu-chau has 
led him completely oflf the correct route, and that we should see Cuju 
in the modem Kiu-chau whence Phillips' itinerary to Kelinfu (Kien- 
ning fu) via Kiang-shan — Ching-hu — Pu-ching is much to be preferred 
to Yule's most indefinite stretch of country from Chu-chau to Kelinfu. 

But after Kelinfu, Yule's Min-tsing, Fu-chau, and Chiian-chau seem 
better than Phillips' Yung-chun, Chiian-chau, and Chang-chau. At the 
same time, however, I can see no evidence for accepting Min-tsing as the 
identification of "Unken." As Yule says, the directions here are unusually 
clear. Polo is shown to be travelling at the rate of thirty miles a day. From 
Kelinfu to Fuju is three days, and "Unken" is reached after the fifteenth 
mile on the third day, i.e. seventy-five miles from Kelinfu and fifteen miles 
from Fuju. This corresponds with Yiiyiian better than with Min-tsing, 
Phillips' suggestion of Yung-chun, despite its similarity to " Unken" and to 
the fact that it is in the sugar-growing district, would entirely disagree with 
Polo's clearly recorded details at this point. Moreover, Yung-chun is due 
south of Kelinfu, while Yiiyiian is south-east as the text definitely states. 

With regard to the identification of Zayton, Yule's evidence is too strong 
to give up the idea of Chiian-chau being meant, although the evidence 
in favour of Chang-chau shows that the harbour of Amoy may be 
included in the term "Zayton." This does not in any way mean that 
we must accept one theory alone and reject the other entirely. It appears 
that much shipping to Chiiang-chau anchored in Amoy harbour, so that 
when Polo left "Zayton" with the princess and a fleet of fourteen ships, 
it is quite possible that either harbour may be meant. 



After telling us of the Khan's expedition against Ghipangu (Japan), and 
of the 7459 islands in the "Sea of Chin" (Frampton has 7448), Polo 
commences his last itinerary — by sea from the port of Zayton to Venice, 
via the Malay Archipelago, India, Persia and Asia Minor. 

Although the course is fairly satisfactorily known, there are many points 
which hitherto have proved of considerable difficulty to scholars. 

In describing Java, it is agreed that Polo is either speaking from hearsay 
or else had acquired his information on some mission of which he has 
left us no detailed account. By this time we are used to the introduction 
of places lying off the main route, and merely regard them as interesting, 
but quite natural and explicable, interpolations. 

It is not easy, however, to determine his exact course through the 
Straits of Malacca, nor to identify certain place-names on the Sumatran 

In order to solve these difficulties as far as possible, it is necessary not 
only to possess an intimate knowledge of the Straits, but also to be fully 
acquainted with the various dialects of the Archipelago. 

I am, therefore, especially fortunate in obtaining the services of my friend 
Dr C. O. Blagden, the well-known Malay scholar, who has voluntarily 
offered to pilot the fleet through the Archipelago until it is safely past 
the Nicobars and Andamans, and well on its way to Ceylon. 

The actual place-names mentioned by Polo in connection with his 
voyage from Zayton to the Sea of Bengal are Chamba, Java, Sondur and 
Condur, Locac, Pentam, Malaiur, Java the Less, with six of its "king- 
doms," viz. Perlec, Basma, Samara, Dagroian, Lambri, and Fansur, the 
island of Gauenispola, two islands of which one is called Necuveran, and 
the island of Angamanain. In certain cases he gives the distances from 
point to point and also the directions, but both are clearly only approxi- 
mate. Unfortunately, except in the case of Samara, he does not mention 
where his fleet put in. But it is probable that it did so once or twice before 
reaching Samara. 

Chamba is Champa, roughly the southern half of what is now the coast 
of Annam. Java is styled by Polo the great island of Java, in contradistinc- 
tion to his Java the Less, which is Sumatra, though the latter is in fact 
much the larger. He is, however, not the only authority who uses the 
name Java for both islands. It is quite certain that he did not visit Java 
on this journey. It would have been ridiculous for the fleet to go so far 
out of its way, and he himself under-estimates the distance. After coasting 


along Chamba, the fleet passed Sondur and Condur, a group of small 
islands off the coast of French Cochinchina, of which the central and 
largest one is marked Condor or Condore on modern maps. It was a 
well-known landmark and there are no other islands of note in the neigh- 
bourhood. From thence the course lay straight to Locac and the landfall 
must have been made at some point on the N.E. coast of the Malay- 
Peninsula in the region of Patani, Kelantan or Trengganu. 

The name Locac has been variously and doubtfully explained. Probably 
the last syllable is the Chinese word kok, or kwok, "country." The first 
one may be the same as the first syllable of Lo-yueh, an old Chinese name 
for the Peninsula, or possibly the end of the term Hsien-lo, which became 
the Chinese name for Siam after Northern and Southern Siam had been 
united. But in Polo's time the Northern Siamese of Sukhothai had only 
recently occupied the isthmus of the Peninsula down to Ligor or Nakhon, 
about 150 miles N.W. of Patani. The suggestion that Locac is a drastic 
contraction of Lengakasuka, the name of an old state or district in the 
northern part of the Peninsula, seems improbable in view of the fact that 
the fuller form is mentioned in the Javanese poem Ndgarakretdgama in 
1365 and has survived in local popular tradition down to modern times. 

At any rate in Polo's terminology Locac is the Malay Peninsula, and 
the fleet sailed down its eastern coast till it came to the island of Pentam. 
This can only be Bentan, which lies about fifteen miles to the south of the 
S.E. promontory of the Peninsula. Here is the eastern entrance of the 
Straits of Singapore, and Polo says that he proceeded for sixty miles 
' between these two islands," by which he must have meant Locac and 
Pentam, for no others have been mentioned in this connection. The mileage 
is approximately correct (in English miles) as representing the distance 
between the two extremities (S.E. and S.W.) of the Peninsula or the two 
ends of the Straits. But in the welter of islands lying about the middle 
of this space there are numerous channels, three of which are of practical 

The first one divides the island of Singapore from the mainland of the 
Peninsula. The island has much the same shape as the Isle of Wight, 
but is about a third larger, and the channel dividing it from the mainland 
is circuitous and subject to strong tides; and though in general about a 
mile wide, it narrows in some places to little more than three furlongs. 
It has usually been supposed that this first channel was the ancient tra- 
ditional course of shipping between the China Sea and the Straits of 
Malacca, but this erroneous notion was finally exploded by the late W. D. 
Barnes in the Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc. Straits Branch (1911), No. 60. 


The second channel approaches close to the southern point of Singapore 
Island and there passes between it and some smaller islands, through a 
passage formerly called New Harbour but in 1900 renamed Keppel 
Harbour, This is the route now used by large liners calling at Singapore, 
as they can go alongside their wharves in this harbour, the depth of water 
near the shore being sufficient for the purpose. This route was in use at 
least five centuries ago, as attested by Chinese records. It is, of course, 
the shortest way of approaching Singapore from the west. 

The third channel, used by smaller vessels which do not go alongside 
but lie in the roadstead off the centre of the town, a few miles N.E. of 
the harbour, runs much further south among the islands to the south of 
Singapore and is much wider. It is in every way better fitted than either 
of the others for large sailing ships, particularly if they do not propose 
to call at Singapore. Polo may have used either the second or the third 
route, but the probabilities are in favour of the third. Nothing can be 
certainly inferred from his statement about the shallowness of the course 
taken by the fleet. His four paces (twenty feet) throughout the strait must 
in any case be an understatement, unless his pilot persistently hugged 
the shallows or unless the soundings have altered materially in the last 
six centuries. As for the first channel, if Polo had changed his course to 
the N.W. and sailed into the strait north of Singapore Island he could 
not have imagined that he was proceeding between the Peninsula and 
Bentan, seeing that he had left the latter miles away in his wake and had 
got behind another large island. On the other hand, if his course lay 
south of Singapore, it would be perfectly natural for him to take that 
island for a part of the coast of the Peninsula, while the islands to the south 
of the third channel, of which Bentan was the first he saw, might well 
be taken by him to constitute one single island. 

The question of the route is somewhat involved with the identification 
of Polo's Malaiur. He does not say that he went there, but merely that 
after the sixty miles of Straits one had to go about thirty more in order 
to reach it. But no place within that space could have been the site of 
such a fine commercial emporium as he described. If it had been Singa- 
pore (which may have existed in his time), its site was at the mouth of 
the Singapore river on the S.E. edge of the island a little to the N.E. of 
its southern point and just where the centre of the modern town is, that 
is to say about half way between the two ends of the Straits, not thirty 
miles beyond their western end. Malacca, on the other hand, is about 
a hundred miles away from the western entrance of the Straits of Singa- 
pore, and there is no evidence of its existence, let alone of its commercial 


importance, in Polo's time. Malaiur, a Tamil corruption of the real 
name Malayu, is well attested as having been for more than six centuries 
before Polo's day the name of an East Sumatran coast district considerably 
to the southward, and probably lying along the lower reaches of the Jambi 
river. It seems likely that this was the place of which he was told; but 
it is about 150 miles south of the course he followed. 

Leaving the Straits of Singapore the fleet proceeded up the Straits of 
Malacca towards the N.E. corner of Sumatra, and here Polo's information 
becomes somewhat clearer. His Ferlec (in Malay Periak) shows signs of 
Arabic pronunciation. The fact that it was already Muslim in his time 
agrees with tradition, which thus, for what that may be worth, helps to 
support Polo's statement. If the order of his other place names is geo- 
graphically right, Basma must be Pasai (Achinese Pase) ; but the form 
of the word is difficult to explain. The Portuguese Pacem does not help, 
for it is merely an example of the common Portuguese tendency to nasalize 
final vowels (e.g. Tenasserim). It almost looks as if the name of Pasai 
had been contaminated by Polo's informant mixing it up with such other 
Sumatran place names as Paseman, or the still more remote Besemah, 
on the west side of the island, or else the not very distant Pasangan on its 
N.E. coast. Samara is for Samatra (otherwise Samudra) a place very 
near to Pasai ; it is generally considered that this little port gave its name 
to the whole island. Polo stayed there for five months under stress of 
weather. No doubt the S.W. monsoon had set in and the fleet had to 
wait till it was over. He remained during that time intrenched, for pro- 
tection against the idolatrous and, as he thought, cannibal natives. But 
we know for certain that the town, at any rate, was being islamized at 
this very time, for its first Muslim king died in 1297, as recorded on his 

The next place, Dagroian, is unidentified but must have been on the 
same line of coast. Its inhabitants are also accused of cannibalism. Lambri 
is well known from other sources and cannot have been situated far away 
from Kota Raja, the capital of Achin, close to the N.W. end of Sumatra. 
Fansur, on the other hand, is certainly identical with Baros (or Barus), 
which was celebrated throughout the centuries as a port for camphor. 
Though Polo associates it also with the production of sago, which he says 
he himself saw made and ate, it is not likely that he went out of his way 
down the W. coast of Sumatra to Fansur ; he may very well have seen 
the sago made, and have eaten it, at Samara or elsewhere. Polo locates 
the last six places together on one side of the island. Had he said "near 
one end," no fault could have been found with his statement. 


Gauenispola is one of the small islands off the N.W. end of Sumatra, 
and very near to Lambri. It is also mentioned by Arab writers, and its 
proper name was probably Pulau Gamas (or Gamis). Next come the 
Nicobars, which he must have skirted (he speaks of twp islands and his 
Necuveran is no doubt Great Nicobar, the main southern island), and 
lastly the Andamans (which he calls "a very large island"). He cannot 
have seen them, as they lie to the north of the Nicobars and the fleet 
must have passed along the south of the Nicobar group. It would then 
have sailed due west to some southern point of Ceylon, perhaps Galle. 
Both Dr Blagden and Don M. de Z. Wiekremasinghe agree with me that 
it would be most improbable for a fleet of Polo's time to go via the north 
of Ceylon and through Palk Strait, as he is sometimes represented as 

Although Polo mentions many places on the coasts of India (Telingana, 
Madras, Tanjore, Tinnevelly, Cape Cormorin, Travancore, Cananore, 
Bombay, Cambay, Somnath and Mekran) and Arabia (Aden, Es-Shehr, 
Dhofar, Kalhat), as well as Socotra, Madagascar, and Zanzibar, we must, 
with but few exceptions, regard this as having nothing whatever to do 
with the homeward journey. 

From Ceylon the fleet would round Cape Comorin, and follow the 
western coast of India and Mekran (called Befmaceian by Frampton and 
Kesmacoran by Yule) into the Persian Gulf at Hormuz. 

We can fairly reasonably assume that Polo derived his information 
about the Indian coastal regions from one of his earlier missions. The 
legends concerning the Male and Female Islands, the Roc, etc., are, of 
course, mere travellers tales picked up in course of conversation. 

After the Polos had delivered their charge safely in Persia, they made 
the final stage of their long wanderings across Armenia to Trebizond and 
thence by sea via Constantinople and Negroponte (Euboea) to Venice. 

The mofl: noble 

and famous trauels of 
^SMarcus TauluSy 6m 

of the nobilitic of the ftate of 
Venice, into the Eaft partes 

of the world, as ^rntenm. Per- 

many other kingcioms 
and Prouinces. 

No lefle pleafanc, than 

.profitable , as appeareth 

by the Tatle, or Contents 
of this Booke. 

MoftnecefTaryfor all ibrtcs 

of Pcrfons,and cfpeciolly 


TrdfiJUtcd intt En^lifh. 

At London, 
Printed by Ralph Nevvbcry 

Title-page of the first edition 



In the course of his well-known account of the final return of the 
Polos to Venice, Ramusio tells us that on their arrival they proceeded 
to their house in the confine of St. John Chrysostom, and that it became 
known as the Corte del Millioni. The reason given for this name is that 
Marco Polo, when relating his travels constantly referred to the Great 
Khan's revenues as amounting to so many millions of gold, while all 
other references to great wealth or numbers was always made in millions 
and " So they gave him the nickname of Messer Millioni . . . the Court 
of his House, too, at S, Giovanni Christomo, has always from that time 
been popularly known as the Court of the Millioni." 

This information has naturally prompted both scholars and travellers 
in Venice to see if the Court still exists and to try and discover what 
remains of the house to-day. Readers of Yule's Introduction (pp. 26-31) 
are already acquainted with the facts, and no further discovery of any 
importance whatever has been made since his day. 

Before referring to the state of what remains of the house at the 
present time, I may be permitted to restate the facts briefly. Although 
Ramusio suggests that the house in the San Giovanni Crisostomo district 
was the Polo mansion, it has been shown by documentary evidence that 
the Polo family had always been connected with San Felice, near the 
famous Ca d'Oro. But that a close connection existed between the two 
parishes is evident from the fact that although the will of MafTeo Polo 
connects the family with San Crisostomo, the document itself was drawn 
up and witnessed by the priests and clerks of S. Felice. Yule concludes 
that the Palazzo in the former parish was purchased by the Polos after 
their return from the East. However that may be, it is in the San 
Crisostomo district alone that we must seek for what is left of the Polo 
house. Leaving the Piazza San Marco, and proceeding on foot up the 
Calle del Fabbri, one soon reaches the Teatro Goldoni, and turning 
sharp to the right, past S. Bartolomeo and over the R. del Pontego, 
the early Renaissance fa9ade of San Giovanni Crisostomo looms up into 
sight. The street is very narrow here, and you are right on top of it 
almost before you are aware of it. Leaving the church on the left hand 
and passing to the south of it along the Calle Delia Chiosa two separate 
passages appear — that to the left is the Calle del Teatro, and leads to 
the Teatro Malibran ; while that to the right is labelled " Sottoportico 
e Corte del Milion." Having passed under the Sottoportico and entered 
the courtyard, which is very small, we proceed straight on down another 
passage which opens out into a larger courtyard now called Corte 


Seconda del Milion. This is the Corte Sabbionera of Yule's day. It is 
much larger than the Corte Seconda and is surrounded by tall four or 
five storey houses. The site of the Polo house lies in the north-west 
corner, the whole of the north side of the Court backing on to the Teatro 
Malibran, which is now a cinema. As existing to-day, the remains consist 
of a double-arched doorway sculptured in the typical Italo-Byzantine 
reliefs of the thirteenth century. Over the centre of the arch facing the 
court is a Byzantine cross, which has been engraved by Ruskin, Stones 
of Venice, p. 139, and P. XI, Fig. 4. To the left of the cross is a round 
sculptured disc representing the Roc of Arabian myth seizing its prey 
in its talons. It seems probable that some similar disc once existed to 
the right of the cross, but a window now pierces the house at this spot. 
According to Ruskin, op. cit. iii. 320, other remains of Byzantine sculpture 
which are doubtless fragments of the decoration of the Polo house, are 
to be found imbedded in the neighbouring houses. This is due to 
the great fire that destroyed the Palazzo at the end of the sixteenth 
century. 1 

As far as I can ascertain, nothing has been done to collect these 
fragments together, or even to allocate them. Thus the most important 
relic of the Polo's house is still the double archway. 

No inscription, plaque or statue marks the spot, but what is much 
worse is the fact that the Venetians have thought fit to erect — actually 
under the very archway itself — an ugly, evil-smelling iron ' conven- 
ience,' so that few care to approach the Polo house at all. 

What makes it all the more unnecessary even from a utilitarian point 
of view is that, unbelievable as it may well appear, another similar 
structure has been built a hundred yards farther on, just outside the 
Corte Milion, at the very point where the Ponte Marco Polo starts ! 
This is indeed a strange way to honour one's country's mighty ones ! 

But a memorial tablet does exist — if you can find it — and to this point 
I now turn. 

Having dutifully — and most warily — inspected the Byzantine reliefs, 
so far as your senses of delicacy permit, you continue eastwards across 
the Court, and passing under the Sottoportico find yourself at the 
foot of a recently rebuilt brick bridge. This is the Ponte Marco Polo, 
but on the name-tablet only the ' E ' of ' Ponte ' and the ' LO ' of 
' Marco Polo ' now remain ! The bridge leads in the direction of 
the parish of Santa Maria Formosa. But if you follow this natural course, 
you will entirely miss seeing the plaque which has been put above the 

^ See Doglioni, Hist. Veneiiana, Venezia, 1598, pp. 161, 162. 


Doric pediment of what once was the chief entrance to the theatre. 
This now discarded entrance will be found on turning left at the foot of 
the Ponte Marco Polo, instead of crossing the bridge. There is merely 
a small landing-stage for gondolas. In the days before the Teatro 
Malibran was a cinema, this section of the Rio S. Marina would doubtless 
have been extensively used by theatre-goers, and the plaque might 
have been noticed ! Even so, it is high up and almost impossible to 
read at night, and on seeing it on a theatre facade one would naturally 
conclude it was either a memorial to Malibran, the famous singer, or 
some actor or manager of note. 

Since those days the lamp which helped to pilot the gondolas to the 
theatre landing-stage has been moved from its original position at the 
extreme corner of the building overlooking the canal (see the photo- 
graph in Yule, vol. i. p. 28 of the introduction) and has been re-erected 
immediately between the top of the pediment and Polo's tablet. Thus 
with the light below the inscription and the obstruction of the ironwork 
itself, it is none too easy to read the inscription at all. But added to this 
is the fact that the lower ledge of the pediment has proved a handy 
resting-place for the largest of the cinema advertisements. Thus if a 
' special attraction ' is showing the unfortunate inscription is entirely 
hidden. Such was the case when I first tried to photograph it in May 
1937, but with the ' change of programme ' at the end of the week I 
was lucky. There was no advertisement large enough to be mounted 
on the ledge, and so I got my photograph ! The tablet was erected in 
1 88 1 by the members of the Venice International Geographical Congress, 
and reads as follows : 





and that is all ! 

Quite apart from the appalling condition the Polo area has been 
allowed to get into, and even overlooking the changes in the theatre 


entrance, the waterway leading past the inscription was always a second- 
ary one, for all the traffic passes from the Grand Canal to the Canale 
di S. Marco via the Rio del Pantego, the Rio della Fava and the Rio di 
Palazzo. Thus, unless something is done to collect and preserve what 
relics remain, to repair and clear up the Corte Milion and transfer the 
inscription to the Polo house where it can be seen and read, there will 
be nothing left to mark the house of one of Italy's greatest sons. 

^ To the right worfhipfull M"". Edward Dyar Efquire, 

lohn Frampton wifheth profperous 

health and feUcitie. 

»AviNG lying by mee in my chamber (righte Worlhipful) a 
tranflation of the great voiage & I6g trauels ofPaulus Venetus 
the Venetian, manye Merchauntes, Pilots, and Marriners, 
and others of dyuers degrees, much bent to Difcoueries, 
reforting to me vpon feuerall occafions, toke fo great delight 
with the reading of my Booke, finding in the fame fuch 
ftrange things, & fuch a world of varietie of matters, that I coulde neuer 
bee in quiet, for one or for an other, for the committing the fame to printe 
in the Englifhe tongue, perfwading, that it mighte giue greate lighte to 
our Seamen, if euer this nation chaunced to find a paffage out of the 
frozen Zone to the South Seas, and otherwife delight many home dwellers, 
furtherers of trauellers. But finding in my felfe fmall abilitie for the 
finilhing of it, in fuche perfedion as the excellencie of the worke, and as 
this learned time did require, I fliayed a long time, in hope fome learned 
man woulde haue tranflated the worke, but finding none that would take 
it in hand, to fatisfie fo many requefts, nowe at laft I determined to fette 
it forth, as I coulde, referring the learned in tongues, delighted in elo- 
quence, to the worke it felfe, written in Latine, Spanifh, and Italian, and 
the refte that haue but the Englifh tong, that feeke onelye for fubftaunce 
of matter to my playne tranflation, befeeching to take my trauell and 
good meaning in the befte parte. And bethinking my felfe of fome fpeciall 
Gentleman, a louer of knowledge, to whome I mighte dedicate the fame, 
I founde no man, that I know in that refpede more worthy of the fame, 
than your worfhippe, nor yet any man, to whome fo many Schollers, fo 
many trauellers, and fo manye men of valor, fupprefled or hindred with 
pouertie, or difl;refled by lacke of friends in Courte, are fo muche bounde 
as to you, and therefore to you I dedicate the fame, not bicaufe you your 
felfe wat the knowledge of tongues, for I know you to haue the Latine, 
the Italian, the French, and the Spanifhe : But bycaufe of youre worthineffe, 
and for that I haue fince my firfle acquaintaunce founde my felfe without 
any greate deferte on my parte, more bound vnto you than to anye man 
in England, and therefore for your defert & token of a thankefull minde, 


I dedicate the fame to youre worftiip, mofte humbly praying you to take 
it in good parte, and to bee patrone of the fame : and fo wiftung you con- 
tinuaunce of vertue, with muche encreafe of the fame, I take my leaue, 
wifhing you with many for the comon weahhs fake, place with audhoritie, 
where you maye haue daylye exercife of the giftes that the Lorde hathe 
endowed you withall in plentifull forte. From my lodging this .xxvj. daye 

of lanuarie .1579. 

Your worfhips to commaunde, 

loHN Frampton. 

^ Maifler Rothorigo to the Reader. 

^ An Introdudion into Cofmographie. 

I Icaufe many be defirous of the knowledge of the partes of 
the worlde, what names they haue, and in what places they 
be, and that many and fundry times the holy fcripture doth 
make mention, and alfo it is profitable for fuche as doe 
traffique and trade to haue knowledge, I was moued to giue 
notice to all fuche as are defirous or haue pleafure in reading. 
^ You Ihall vnderfl:ande, that a man turning his face to the rifing of the 
Sunne, that parte that is before hys eies where the Sunne doth rife, is 
called Orient or Eafte, and his contrarie where the Sunne fetteth, is 
Occident or Weaft. The courfe or waye of the Sunne is called Medio die, or 
South, whiche is on youre righte hande, his contrarie parte that is on the 
lefte hande is called Soptentrion or North. 

^ Furthermore, you ftiall vnderfi;and, that if a manne ftande in the Hande 
of Cales, and looke towardes the rifing of the Sunne, he fliall fee three 
principall parts of the worlde, diuided by the Sea called Mediierraneum, 
that Cometh oute of the greate Occean and Weafte Sea, and runneth to- 
wardes the Eafte, and by two very great and principall riuers, the one 
comming from the South, called Mlus, and the other from the North, 
called Tanais. 


YOu fliall alfo vnderftande, that from the entring of the ftraite called 
luberaltare, vppon the right hande to the riuer JVilus bordering vppon 
Egipt, is called Affrica, the Sea that is towardes vs, is called Libya, that 
whiche is towardes the South, is called Ethiopia, whiche is the Occean, 
the Sea towardes the Weafte, is called Atlantica, and is alfo the greate 
Occean Sea. It hath thefe famous Cities and Prouinces. Ouer againfte 
luberaltar, and the coafte of Mallaga is Mauritania, whiche we call Barbarie. 
It is named Barbaria, bycaufe the people be barbarous, not onely in 
language, but in manners and cuftomes. Following towards the Eaft is 
Numidia, Getulia, Tunes, a citie in Affrica, the name fo giuen by Afu, to all 
Syria, and Aegipt. On the South parte be the Ethiopians, whiche here- 
after fliall be fpoken of. 



irpVropa is called al y' prouinces againfl Affrica towards the North from 
JL ^ the greate Occean Sea, that entreth into the flreits to the riuer Tanai, 
and the greate lake called Meotis, where this riuer entreth into. In this 
there is compreheded Portugale, Britania, Spaine, France, Almaine, Italie, 
Grecia, Polonia, Hungarie, or Panonia, Valackia, AJia the lefler, Phrygia, Turkia, 
Galatia, Lydia, Pamphilia, Lauria, Lycia, Cilicia, Scythia the lower, Dacia^ 
Gocia and Thrajia. 


A Sia the greater is that that is beyond Europa and Affrica, that is to fay, 
^O. on the other fide of Nilus Southward, and the riuer Tanais North- 
ward, following the way Eaflwarde, and is as bigge as Europa and Affrica, 
and compafled with three Seas, Eafterly or Orientall, Indico to the South- 
warde, Scythia to the Northwarde, hauing prouinces, Soria, Mefopotamia, 
Parthia, Sarmajia, AJiatica, Arabia, Perjia, Armenia, Medea, Hircania, Carmania, 
the Indias on thys fide and beyonde the riuer Ganges. 
^ Alfo you fhall vnderftande, that the greate Sea called the Occean, 
doth compaffe aboute the forefaid three principall partes of the worlde, 
and fo doeth compaffe all the whole worlde, althoughe there be diuers 
regions and places whereas they be, hauing diuers names. 
^ Moreouer, you fhall vnderflande, that in whatfoeuer parts of the Sea 
that doe anfwere to any parts of y forefaid Countries, as there be many 
Hands inhabited with diuers people, afwel as the EafI; parts, whereas is 
Taprobane and Thyle, and others infinite number on theyr fides, afwel as 
on the other parts before declared, and thofe that be betweene them and 
al others, are to be vnderftanded to pertain to one of thefe three parts of 
the world beforefaid, to whiche it may be mofle properly iudged to be, 
and lyeth neareft vnto. 


MOreouer, you mufle note, that Ethiopia is a common name to manye 
Prouinces and Countries, inhabited with blacke people called 
NEGROS. And to begin with the mofle Weafle partes, the firfle is Ginney, 
that is to faye, from Cabo Verde or the greene Cape, and following the 
coafl of the Sea, to the mouth or flreits of the Redde Sea. Al thofe pro- 
uinces be called Ethiopians, and of thefe Ethiopians from Ginney 
vnto Cafa Manfa, that is to faye, the Kings pallace, they be of the fed of 
MAHOMET, circumcifed the mofl parte of them. And the chiefefl and 
mofl principall of thefe people be the iolofos and mandingos, and be 
mofle parte vnder the gouernement of a King called mandimansa, for 


MANSA is as muche to faye as Senior or Lord, and mandy mandinga, 

fo by this his title he is Lord mandinga. This King is blacke, and his 

abiding is in the prouince ofSertano four hundred leagues within the land, 

in a Citie compaffed about with a wall called laga, which is riche of golde 

and filuer, and of all fuche merchaundize as is occupied in Adem and in 

Meca: and from thence forwarde the Ethiopians be Idolators to the 

cape called Buona EJperanca, and there turneth againe to the fed of 

MAHOMET. Beyonde thefe prouinces following vp into the land oiSartano 

bee greate and highe mountaines or hilles, called mountaines of the 

Moone, the toppes of them be alwayes couered with Snow, & at the foote 

of the fpringeth the riuer Nilus, and this Countrie is called Ethiopia befide 

Egipt, and in Arabia it is called Abas, and the inhabitants Abajfmos, and 

be Chriflians, and doe vfe to be marked with an yron in the face: they 

be not baptized with fire (as fome doe faye) but as we are, but they be 

HERETiKES, lACOBiTES, and HEBEYONITES. They do holdc on the 

olde lawe with the newe, and be circumcifed, and doe keepe the Sabaoth 

daye, and doe eate no Porke, and fome of them doe take manye wiues, 

and be alfo baptized, and doe faye, that their King came and defcended 

of King SALOMON, and of the Queene sab a, and this King hathe con- 

tinuall warres with the mo ores. 

^ There is another Ethiopia called Afiatica interior, which the Arabians call 

^enium, and thefe doe extende from the fayd hilles of the Moone, and of 

Mlus, to the borders ofBarbarie. And the faying is, that among all Riuers, ^fyius. 

onelie JVilus entereth into two Seas, that is to faye, one braunche into the 

Eaft Sea, and another braunche into the Weft Sea. All thefe Ethiopians 

bee Moores, and theyr laboure and occupation is digging of golde out of 

the grounde, where they doe fynde great plentie. There is alfo another 

Ethiopia called Tragodytica, and thys dothe reache or extende from the 

forefayde Ethiopia, to the ftreyte or mouth of the redde Sea, and thefe bee The redde Sea. 

fomewhat whyter, and the King and people bee Moores, and came out of 

Arabia falix, for the Arabians came ouer the ftreyte of the redde Sea, and 

gotte that Countrey of the Jacobites by force, and at this daye there is 

robbing and ftealing among them fecretely, for the King of the Jacobites 

is of fo greate power, that the Souldan oi Babilon doth giue him tribute. Souidan. 


THat whiche wee doe call Arabia, the Arabians doe call Arab, and is 
called Gefyrdelaab. That whyche is betweene the redde Sea, and 
Sinus Perjicus, is called the Hand of Arabia, and thys is called Arabia Falix, Arabia Felix. 
by reafon of the Incenfe that groweth there. 




iudgements of 

the voyages of 


Three Jndias, 
thefirjl is tke 
lower India. 

Thefecond or 

middle India. 

Lading of 



^ There bee other two Arabias befyde thys, the one of them extendyiig 
from the Mount Sinay, to the dead Sea, where the Children of Ifraell 
wente fortye yeares, and thys is called Arabia petrea, takyng that name of 
a Citie that is there. The other dothe extende betweene Syria and Euphrates 
towardes the Citie of Lepo, and thys they doe call Arabia defan, which is 
as m.uche to fay, as of ^ma, and our Latines doe call it Arabia deferta. And 
wheras the vulgar people, and men for the mofl part, do thinke that 
Antilla, or thofe Jlandes lately found out by cornmaundemente of the 
Catholike King don Fernando, and Lady isabell Queene, be in the 
Jndias, they be deceyuied therein, to call it by the name of the Indias. And 
for bycaufe that in Spaniola, or newe Spayne, they do find gold, fome doe 
not let to fay it is Tharjis, and Ophin, and Setkin, from whence in the time 
of SALOMON, they brought gold to Hierufalem. And thus augmenting 
erroures vpon erroures, let not to faye, that the Prophetes when they fayde 
that the name of oure Lorde God fhould be pronounced to people that 
haue not hearde of it, and in places and Countreys very farre off, and 
aparted, which is fayd to be vnderftanded by thofe that be called Indians, 
and by thefe Ilandes, and furthermore doe not lee to fay to this day, that 
it TS to be vnderftanded by the places mentioned in the holy Scripture, 
and the Catholike dodors, and that this fecret God hath kept hidden all 
this tune, and by finding out thefe Hands did reueale it. I feeing how they 
are deceyued in their vayne inuentions, and greate fimplicitie, for zeale 
and good will of the truth, and to kill this canker, that it creepe no more 
nor ingender greater erroures, will giue light to this errour, anfwering to 
the faid muttering talkers, according as to euery of them doth require. 
^ And firft you Ihall vnderftande, that this name India, according to all 
Cofmographers, as well Chriftians as Infidels, of old time, and of later 
yeares, the name dothe come of a Riuer named Hynde, or Hyndo, that 
going towards the Eaft, is the beginning of the Indias, whiche bee three in 
number, that is to fay, the firft is called the lower or nether India, the 
feconde is called the middle India, and the third is called the high or vpper 
India. The firft or lower India is renamed Cay Jar, and thefe do extend 
towards the Eaft, from the Riuer India, vnto a Porte or Hauen on the 
Sea fide, of great traffike and trade, called Cambaya. And the King of 
this India, and alfo the moft part of the people be Moores, and the reft 
Idolaters. The fecond or middle India is furnamed Mynbar, and dothe 
reache to the borders of Colchico, and this hath very faire Hauens, and 
Portes of greate traffike, where they doe lade Pepper, Ginger, and other 
Spices and Drugges. The Portes or Hauens be called Colocud, Coulen, Hely, 
Fatenor Colnugur, and heere be many Chriftians Heretikes Neftorians, and 


many Indians^ although towards the North they be Idolaters. The thirde 
India, whiche is the hygh India, is furnamed Alahabar, and dothe extend The third 
vnto Cauch, whiche is the Riuer Gange. Heere groweth plentye of Sina- th^^kighJ 
mon, and Pearle. The King and people of thys Gountrey worlhip the ^'"/^c. 
Oxe. Befides thefe three Indias, whiche lye towardes the riling of the fnip^d. 
Sunne, there can not be found neyther Author nor Man that hathe 
trauelled the firme land, neyther the Seas adioyning therevnto, that can 
fay, there is anye other Prouince or Ilande named India^ fauing that if 
anye woulde giue to vnderftand, that going towarde the Weft, he wente 
towardes the Eaft, and that although he came vnto the terrenall Paradife, 
and that thefe Hands Ihoulde lye in the greate Weaft Occean Seas, it 
appeareth playnely, for that thofe that fayle thither, fteame their Shippe 
towards the Occident, and his diredl wind whiche he fayleth withall, is 
out of the Orient or the Eaft. So it appeareth, that they fayle not vnto 
the India^ but that they flye and depart from the India. And thus it 
appeareth that he would fay, that the firfte name that euer it liadde, or 
was fette, naming it Antiilya, feeming, that by the corruption of the vulgar, 
naming it Ante India, as to fay againft India, euen as Antechrift is contrary 
or against Chrift, or Antenorth againfte the North. And thus it appeareth, 
that it can not be named India, but to vnderftande it as an antephrafe, 
cleane contrary, as a Negro, or a blacke Moore fhoulde be named v/hite 
lOHN, or a Negrefle or blacke woman, to be named a Pearie, or a Mar- 
garita, that for finding gold in the Hand named HiJ)aniola, it Ihould haue 
the name fet Tharjia, or Ophin, or Sethin, nor beieeue it ftandeth in AJia as 
fome woulde faye, although the thyng is fo cleeie, that it feemeth a mockerie 
to proue it: but reafon dothe leade, that wee Ihoulde gyue Mylke vnto 
Children and Infantes, saincte austine declareth, thai the circum- 
ftance of the letter dothe illuminate the fentence. And it cippeareth in the 
thyrde Booke of Kings, in the tenth Chapter, and the fecond of Para- 
lipomenon, in the ninth Chapter, do faye, that the Seruantes of Salomon, 
and of D IRAN, doe fynde they broughte from Ophin and Sethin, and Tharjis, 
not onely goide, but alfo Siluer and Timber, called Thina, and Elephantes 
teeth, and Peacocks, and Apes, and Precious ftones, the whyche thyngs 
in infinite places of the very true Indians, as well in Countreys farre within 
the lande, as alfo in Countreys vppon the Sea fyde, and alfo in Ilandes 
wythout number, that bee in the Oriente or Eaft Seas, fhall be founde, as 
by experience of the Merchantes trafliking into the Eaft, confoi niing to 
the holy Scripture, and to all thofe that doe wiite, as well Catholikes, as 
Prophanes, is manyfeft. And in the Ilande called Spaniola, there can bee 
found no fuche Timber, nor all the other thyngs before named, fauyng 


Golde, the whiche as by this worke wyll appeare, is founde in a greate 
number of places of the Orientall partes. What is hee that in bringing 
gold from Antilla, will proue it is from Ophin, or Sethin, or Tharjis, from 
whence it was brought to Salomon. Firfl hee muft prooue that it was 
neuer founde but in one place, and that at thys daye it is not to bee had, 
but in the fame place only, from whence it was broughte to Salomon, 
the which is a manifeft vntruth or falfe. And alfo they that vnderftande 
that the ftorie of the holy fcripture, and the holy prophets, when they do 
now name countries from whence thofe things be brought, and farre 
Ilandes of Idolatours, whereas the name of God was not heard, did not 
fpeak but of Spaniola, and of the other Weft parts, he muft proue there is 
no other Idolatours in the worlde but thofe whom he falfely calleth 
Indians, nor other Ilads but the Spaniola, and the other Weft Ilandes, and 
thys is of a truth, all falfe, for Grecia is Ilandes, Scicilia., a noble Ilande, and 
Malta, and Lipari, Tzcla, Serdenya, Corfica, Mallorca, Minorca, Tbifa, Canarias, 
England, and others infinite in the foure partes of the world, before now 
hath bin founde. Of the whiche in the Orient or eaft, is Taprobano, which 
is the moft noble Hand in the world, and the He which is fayde to be fo 
happie and fortunate, that of neuer tree there falleth a leafe of in the 
whole yeare, as alfo by thys Booke ofMARCUs paulus is to be feene in 
the .106. Chapter, of one Ilande that is in the Orientall feas .1500. myles, 
in the which there is found gold in fo great abundaunce, that it is fayde 
the Kinges Pallace is couered or tyled wyth gold. 

^ And furthermore, it is fayd, that the fame is, that in thofe feas be 
feauen thoufand four hundred fortie eight Ilandes, in the whiche there 
is not founde one tree, but that is fweete, pleafaunt, and fruiteful, and of 
great profit, wherby we may wel conclud, that in many other Hands, 
there is gold to be found: therfore it is not neceffarie, that the holye 
Scriptures fhoulde be fo vnderftanded by Antilla, when it is fayde, they 
went for gold to Tharjis, & Ophyn, and Sechyn, yea and although they wyll 
not beleeue the other truthes, they can not denye the faying of the holye 
Scripture in the Seconde Chapter of genesis, where it is fayde that the 
firft riuer that goeth out of Paradife is Bhyfon, which doth compafle the 
whole countrey of Eiulath, where golde doth growe, and that the golde of 
that countrey is very good and pure, nor it was not needefuU to haue 
three yeres from lerufalem to Antilla, as it is for the Hands of the IndianSy 
whiche is more further off, by a great deale, and with much more difficult- 
nefle to prouyde'the precious ftones, and all other things they brought 
fr6 thence, and alfo the wayes be more difficulte and ftrange, by reafon 
of contrarye windes, and manye other incumbraunces. And that this 


was not vnderftanded that the people a farre of are thefe Ilandes now 
founde, it appeareth by Saint Paule in the fifteenth Chapter to the 
Romaynes, where is expounded the faying of Efay in the .52. Chapter, 
wher it is fayde, That thofe to whom it was not pronounced vnto, Ihoulde 
fee, and thofe that did not heare of him, Ihould vnderftande. And this, 
as a lyttle aboue is fayde, is vnderftanded, that from lerufalem to the 
lies o^Grecia, to the fea Illyrico which is the end oiGrecia, and the beginning 
of Italy ^ by Slauonia, or Dalmatia, and Venice, where before they had not 
hearde the name of Chrift declared. And bycaufe the holye ghoft hath 
interpreted thys fentence by Saint Paul, applying that prophecie with 
other like of his workes, there remayneth no licence for other to apply it 
to Antilla. 

^ But now let vs come to the fumme of this reckning, and fay, that if for 
the golde that is founde in Antilla, wee ftiould beleeue that it is Tharfis, 
and Ophyn, and Sethyn, by y other things that be founde in Ophyn, &c, and 
not in Antilla, we muft beleeue that it is not thofe, nor thofe it. And 
moreouer, it appeareth that AJia and Tharfis, Ophyn, and Sethyn, be in the 
Eaft, and Antilla the Spanyola in the weft, in place and condition much 


^ Here foloweth a Table of the Chapters 
conteyned in this Booke. 

)He Prologue of the Authour, vpon this prefent Booke. 

How MISER MARCUS PAULUS vfed himfclfe in the Court 
of the great CANE. Cap. i. 

Of the meanes that the two brethren and m. p a u l u s found 
to returne to Venice. Cap. 2. 

How they fayled to laua. Cap. 3. 

How the faide NICHOLAS and mapheo and marcus paulus returned 
to Venice, after that they had feen many things. Cap. 4. 

Of Armenia the leffer, and many things that be ther made. Cap. 5. 
Of the Turchomanos in Armenia the leffe. Cap. 6. 

Of Armenia the greater, and of the Arcke of noe. Cap. 7. 

Of Georgiania. Cap. 8. 

Of the parties of Armenia which lye towardes the South, and of the 
kingdome Mojul. Cap. 9. 

Of Baldach, and of many things that be there. Cap. 10. 

Of the Citie Totis. Cap. 1 1 . 

Of a great miracle which happened in Moful. Cap. 12. 

Of Perfia and of the countries of the Magos, and of other good things. 

Cap. 13. 
Of eight kingdomes of Perjia, and of things that be founde there. 

Cap. 14. 
Of the Citie lafor. Cap. 15. 

Of the Citie of Cormo^. Cap. 16. 

Of the Citie of Crerina, and of the death of the olde man of the Mountaine. 

Cap. 17. 
Of that which is founde in the fame countrey. Cap. 18. 

Of the Citie of Baldach, and of many other things. Cap. 19. 

Of the manner of the fame countrey. Cap. 20. 

Of the Citie of Hechaf em. Cap. 21. 

Of the manners of the fame land. Cap. 22. 

Of the prouince of Ballajia, and of their things. Cap. 23. 

Of the prouince Abafsia, whereof the people be blacke. Cap. 24. 

Of the prouince Chafsimuru, and of many things. Cap. 25. 

Of the faide prouince. Cap. 26. 


Of the prouince named Vochanu. Cap. 27 

Of the nouelties of this countrey. Cap. 28 

Of the defert Bofor, and of many nouehies. Cap. 29 

Of the prouince Cafchar. Cap. 30 

Oi Sumartha and of a miracle. Cap. 31 

Of the prouince Cartham. Cap. 32 

Of the prouince Chota^ and of their cuflomes. Cap. 33 

Of the prouince Poyn. Cap. 34 

Of the prouince Ciartham being in the great Turkey. Cap. 35 

Of a great defert, and of the Citie named lob. Cap. 36 

Of the prouince named Tanguith, and of the Citie Sanguethia. Cap. 37 
Of the prouince named Ckamulj and of their noughtie cuflomes. 

Cap. 38 
Of the prouince Hinguitalas, and of the Salamandra that is found there. 

Cap. 39 
Of the citie which is called Campion and of manye beaftlye cuftomes 
that they vfe. Cap. 40 

Of the citie called Encina, and of many noble things of Tartaria. 

Cap. 41 
Of the beginning of the feigniorie of the Tartarians, and of many things 

Cap. 42 
Of the cuftomes, ordinances, <G? honouring of the gret cane, and how 
he goeth vnto the warre. Cap. 43 

Of the playne o^Berga, and of the cuftomes of the people there. Cap. 44 
Of the great Sea which is called Occean. Cap. 45 

Of the kingdome Erguil, and of many other kingdomes, & of the muske 
which is there found, and many nouelties. Cap. 46 

Of the citie Callacia, and of many things that be made there. Cap. 47 
Of the prouince called Tanguith^ which is fubied toPRESTERiOHN, and 
of the ftone Lagulus, whiche is founde there, and oCGoth and Magot. 

Cap. 48. 
Of the Citie Sindatoy in Cataya^ where there is founde filuer. Cap. 49. 
Of the Citie Gianorum. Cap. 50. 

Of the Citie Liander. Cap. 51. 

Of the facrifice and other manners of the liuing of the great cane. 

Cap. 52. 

Of a vidorie that the great cane gote. Cap. 53. 

Of the great things belonging to the great cane. Cap. 54. 

Of the great citie named Camhalu^ and of all the faire and maruellous 

things that bee in the feigniorie of the greate cane. Cap. 55. 


Of the manner that the great cane vfeth in hunting. Cap. 56. 

Of the manner of their hauking. Gap. 57. 

Of the manner that the greate cane vfeth in riding through his countries, 
and being in the fielde in pauilHons. Cap. 58. 

Of the money that is vfed in that land. Cap. 59. 

Of the order and gouernement which the greate cane vfeth in his 
dominions. Cap. 60. 

Of the fame order. Cap. 61. 

Of the fayde Citie Cambalu. Cap. 62. 

Of many maruellous things which are found in that countrey. Cap. 63. 

Of the Citie Goigu, and of many maruellous things. Cap. 64. 

Of the way leading to the prouince of the Magos. Cap. 65. 

Of the Citie of Tarafu. Cap. 66. 

Of the Citie named Paymphu. Cap. 67. 

Of a king named bor. Cap. 68. 

Of the Citie called Caciomphur. Cap. 69. 

Of the Citie Gengomphu. Cap. 70. 

Of the prouince of Chincby. Cap. 71. 

Of the prouince and Citie called Cinilith Mangi, and of manye other 
things that be there founde. Cap. 72. 

Of the prouince and Citie called Sindariffa. Cap. 73. 

Of the prouince Chelethi. Cap. 74. 

Of the prouince Thebeth. Cap. 75. 

Of the prouince Mangi. Cap. 76. 

Of the prouince Chajidu. Cap. 77. 

Of another prouince. Cap. 78. 

Of the prouince Caraya. Cap. 79. 

Of the prouince loci, and of their beaftly cuftomes. Cap. 80. 

Of the prouince Cheriar, and of many Serpentes that be there. Cap. 81. 

Of the prouince Cingui, & of the Citie called Canchafu. Cap. 82. 

Of the prouince Machay, where there be found Vnicornes & Elephants, 
and many other nouelties. Cap. 83. 

Of the prouince called Cingui, and of the Citie named Canchafu. 

Cap. 84. 

Of the Citie named Cianglu. Cap. 85. 

Of the Citie Candrqfra, and of the Citie Singuimat. Cap. 86. 

Of the riuer Coromoran, and of the Citie Coygangui, and of another Citie 
called Cayni. Cap. 87. 

Of the noble prouince of Mangi, Cap. 88. 

Of the Citie Coygangui. Cap. 89. 


Of the Citie Pangay, of another which is called Cqyni. Cap. go. 

Of the Citie called Tkingui. Cap. 91. 

Of the Citie JVangni, which hath feauen and twentie Cities vnder it, and of 
an other named Saymphu, which hath vnder it twelue Cities. Cap. 92. 
How this prouince was made fubiedl to the great cane. Cap. 93. 

Of the Citie called Cingui, and of many other things. Cap. 94. 

Of the Citie called Ciangui. Cap. 95. 

Of the Citie Pingranphu, and of other things which be in that countrey. 

Cap. 96. 
Of the Citie Singui, and of a bridge of Marble ftone, vnder the whiche 
Citie be eighteene great Cities, and of Rubarbe, and other fpices that grow 
there. Cap. 97. 

Of the Citie Gynufay which in compafle .100. myles. Cap. 98. 

Of the Citie Ganfu. Cap. 99. 

Of the diuifion which the great cane made of the prouince oi Mangi. 

Cap. 100. 
Of the rents which the great cane hath of the prouince oi Gynufay. 

Cap. 1 01. 
Of the Citie Thampinguy. Cap. 102. 

Of the Citie Cinanguari, and of the cruel tie of the men that dwel there, 
and of other things. Cap. 103. 

Of the Citie Frigui and of many other things. Cap. 104. 

Of the Citie which they call laython and of many other things. 

Cap. 105. 
Of the Ifle which they cal Ciampagu, and the maruellous things which 
be founde there, and how the great cane would haue conquered it. 

Cap. 106. 
Of the prouince called Ciabam, and of the Lord that hath .325. fonnes 
and daughters, and there bee manye Elephants, and much fpice. 

Cap. 107. 
Of the He called laua, & of many fpices that grow there. Cap. 108. 
Of the Hand locath and of the other two Hands, and of their coditions. 

Cap. 109. 
Of the kingdome Malenir, and of the Hand Pencera, and oflaua the lefTe. 

Cap. no. 
Of the kingdome of Baxinay and of the Vnicornes, and other beafts. 

Cap. III. 

Of the kingdome Samara. Cap. 112. 

Of the kingdome Lambri, and of the kingdome Famphur, and of things 

found there. Cap. 113. 


Of two Hands, and of dieir fluttifh and beaftly liuing. Gap. 114. 

Of the He Saylan. Cap. 115. 

Of the prouince Moabar, in the which there be fiue kingdomes. 

Cap. 116. 

Of the kingdome Mafuli, where Adamants, and many ferpents be found. 

Cap. 117. 

Of the prouince Lake. Cap. 118. 

Of the kingdome Orbay. Cap. 119. 

Of the prouince Choman, and of the people, and verye ftraunge beaftes. 

Cap. 120. 

Of the kingdome ofHely, and of the ftraunge beaftes, whyche are there 
found. Cap. 121. 

Of the kingdome Alalibar, & of the things that be found there. 

Cap. 122. 

Of the kingdome Giefuratk, and of their euill cuftoms. Cap. 123. 

Of the kingdome Thoma, and of the kingdom Semebelech, which is in 
India the greater. Cap. 1 24. 

A rehearfal of the things alreadie fpoken of. Cap. 1 25. 

Of two Hands one of men, and the other of women, Chriftians, and how 
there is much Amber. Cap. 126. 

Of the Hand called Efcorjia, which are Chriftians, and of things that be 
found there. Cap. 127. 

Of the Hand Maydegajtar, where Elephants, and other great neuelties 
are founde, and a birde called Nichia, which hath the quilles of his wings 
of twelue paces in length. Cap. 1 28 

Of the Hand Tanguibar, where there be men like Giants. Gap. 129 

An Epiloge. Cap. 130 

Of Abaxia. Cap. 131 

Of the proumce Aden. Cap. 132 

Of a very mighty king in the North part. Gap. 133 

How the Armynes and other beaftes are bought. Cap. 134 

Of the prouince of Rufsia^ and of the things that be founde there. 

Gap. 135. 


The Prologue. 

O all Princes, Lordes, Knightes, and all other perfons that 
this my Booke fhall fee, heare, or reade, health, profperitie, 
and pleafure. In thys Booke I do mind to giue knowledge 
of ftrange and maruellous things of the world, and fpecially 
of the partes of Armenia^ Perjia^ India, Tartaria, and of many 
other prouinces and Countreys, whiche fhall be declared in 
this worke, as they were feene by me marcuspaulus, of the noble Citie 
of Venice: and that which I faw not, I declare by report of thofe that were 
wife, difcrete, and of good credite, but that which I faw, I declare as I 
faw it, and that which I knew by others, I declare as I heard it. And for 
that this whole worke fhall be faithfuU and true, my intente is not to 
write any thing, but that which is very certaine. I do giue you all to 
vnderftande, that fithence the birth of our Sauioure and Lorde lefus Chrift, 
there hathe bin no man, Chriftian, nor Heathen, that hathe come to the 
knowledge and fight of fo manye diuers, maruellous, and ftrange things, 
as I haue feene and hearde, whiche I will take in hande the laboure to 
write, as I did fee and heare it. For me thinke I fhoulde do a great 
iniurie to the world, in not manifefting or declaring the truth. And for 
better information to them that fhall reade or heare this worke, I do giue 
you to vnderftand. that I trauelled in the forefayd Prouinces and Coun- 
treys, and did fee thofe things that I will declare, f fpace of fixe and 
twentie yeares, & caufed the to be written to Mayfter vstacheo of Pifa, 
the yeare of our Lorde God .1298. He and I then being prifoners in lanua. 


►Aigning in Conjlantinople the Emperoure baldouino, and in 
his time in the yeare of oure Lord .1250. Nicholas my 
father, and map he o my vncle his brother, Citizens of 
Venice, went to Conjlantinople with their Merchandifes. And 
beeyng there a certayne tyme, wyth councell of theyr 
friendes, paffed wyth fuch wares and iewels as they had 
boughte in the Countrey of the Souldan, where they were a long time, 



determining to goe forwarde, and trauelling a long iourney, came to a 
Citie of the Lorde of the Tartarians, which is called bargacan, who was 
Lord of a greate parte of Tartaria, Burgaria, and Afia. And this Lord 
BARGAGAN, tooke greate pleafure to fee my father nigholas and my 
Uncle MAPHEO, and fliewed them greate friendfhip, and they prefented 
to hym fuch iewels as they broughte with them from Conjiantinople, who 
receyued them thankefully, and gaue them giftes double the valew, 
whiche they fent into dyuers partes to fell, and they remayned in his 
Courte the fpace of one yeare, in which tyme warres beganne betweene 
the fayde bargagan and alan, Lord of the Tartares of the Eaft, and 
there was betweene them many great battayles, and muche fhedding of 
bloud, but in the end, the vidorie fell to alan. And bycaufe of thefe 
warres, my father and vncle coulde not returne the way they went, but 
determined to go forwarde to the Eaftward, and fo to haue returned to 
Conjiantinople, and following their way, came to a Citie in the Eaft partes, 
called Buccatfi, whiche is within the precind of the Eaft Kingdome. And 
departing from this Citie, paffed the Riuer which is called Tygris, whiche 
is one of the foure that commeth out of Paradife terrenall, and goyng 
feauenteene dayes iourneys through a Deferte, not finding anye Citie or 
Towne, yet meeting with manye companyes of Tartares, that went in the 
fields with their Cattel : beeing paft thys Defert, they came to a great & 
noble Citie called Bocora, and the fame name hadde that Prouince, which 
the Kyng of that Countrey had, and the Citie was called Barache, and this 
is the greateft Citie in Perjia. In thys Countrey, were thefe two breethren 
three yeares. And in this time came an Embaffadoure from hanul Lorde 
of the Eafte, whiche wente to the greate alan Lorde of the Tartares, that 
before was fpoken of. This alan is otherwife called the greate gane. 
Thys Embafladoure maruelled muche to fee thefe twoo Breethren beeyng 
Chriftians, and tooke greate pleafure at them, bycaufe they hadde neuer 
before that tyme feene any Chriftians, and fayde to them. Friends, if you 
wyll followe or take my councell, I will fliewe you wayes or meanes 
whereby you fhall gette greate riches and renowme. Oure Lorde the 
King of the Tartares, didde neuer fee anye Chriftians, and hathe great 
defire to fee of them, if you will goe with me, I will bring you to his 
prefence, where you fliall haue greate profite and friendfliippe of hym. 
^ They hearing thys, determined to goe with hym, and trauelling the 
fpace of one yeare towardes the Eaft Southeaft, and after turning to the 
lefte hande towards the Northeaft, and after towardes the North, in fine, 
they came to the Citie of the great gane, in the whyche trauell they fa we 
manye ftraunge and maruellous things, whyche fhall be declared in thys 


Booke. And thefe two breethren, beeyng prefented to the great cane, 
were receyued by him very fauourably, Ihewing to them greate friend- 
fliippe, demaundyng of them of the Emperoure of the Chriftians, of hys 
ftate, and howe hee ruled and gouerned hys Countreys, and kepte them 
in peace and iuftice. And when hee made anye warres, howe and after 
what manner hee broughte hys people into the fielde, and he demaunded 
of them the ftate and order of other Kyngdomes and Dukedomes in 
Chryftendome, of theyr conditions, and afterwarde wyth greate diligence, 
hee enquyred of them of the pope and the Cardinalles, and of theyr 
fayth, and of the Gatholike Church, and of all other conditions of the 
Chriftians, to the which demaundes the two breethren aunfwered in order 
very difcretely and wifely, who hadde vnderftanding, and could fpeake 
the Tartarie language. The great cane vnderftandyng theyr anfweres, 
had grat pleafure therein, and fpeaking to his Lords, faying, that hee 
woulde fende an Embaffadour to the Pope, the head Bifhop of the 
Chriftians, and requefted the faid two breethren, that it woulde pleafe 
them to be his Embafladors to the Pope, with one of his Lordes : they 
aunfwered, they were readie to doe all that he woulde commaund them. 
Streight way the great cane caufed to bee written Letters of beliefe in the 
Tartarian tong to the Pope, and alfo commaunded by worde of mouth to 
hys fayd Embafladors, diat they flioulde faye, and defire hys holynefle, 
that it would pleafe him to fend him a hundred men, difcrete, wife, and 
learned Chriftians in the Catholike faith, to inftrud him and his Subieds, 
whereas then they did all worfliip Idols, and would gladly receyue the 
true faith. And alfo, the great cane requefted them to bring him fome 
of the Oyle that did bume before the Sepulchre of lefus Chrifte in leru- 
Jalem. This done, the great cane commaunded to be broughte to him a 
Table of gold, and wrote in it, commaunding exprefly to all hys fubiedls 
that fhoulde fee that his Table, that they flioulde receyue thofe Em- 
bafladors with all frendfliippe, and to fliew them honour and obedience, 
and to do al things that flioulde be neceflarie, and to deliuer them money, 
and to prouide them what they woulde demaunde, as well for fhipping, 
as alfo Horfes, or any other thing, in as ample maner, as if it were for his 
owne perfon. When the fayd Nicholas and mapheo, and cogoball, 
Embaffador to the great cane, were at a poynt to depart, taking their 
leaue of y^ great cane, they rode with their copany thirtie days iourney, 
and at the ende of them, the faide cogoball fell ficke and dyed, and 
the two breethren followed on theyr iourney, and in euery Towne where 
they came fliewing the forefayd Table of gold, were very honourably 
receyued and enterteyned, as the perfon of the King. And continuing 


their ioiimey, they came to a towne called Giaza^ and from thence de- 
parted, and came to Acre in the moneth of Aprill, in the yeare of our Lord 
1878. God .1272. whereas they vnderftoode that the Pope'cLEMENT was dead, 
and finding there a Legate of the Popes, which was called miser 
THEBALDO, that was there for the defence of the holy Church, at the 
vttermoft partes of the Seas, to him they did theyr Embaffage of the greate 
CANE, and when miser thebaldo vnderftoode their Embaffage, he 
prayed them to tarrie the creation of a newe Pope, and hearing this 
aunfwere, the two breethren departed incontinente, and went to Mgro 
PontCy and from thence to Venice, to fee their houfes, and founde the wife 
of NICHOLAS dead, and had left behinde hir a fonne, whofe name was 
MARCUS, of the age of fifteene yeares, which neuer faw his father before, 
for he left hir with child of him at his departing, and this is the fame 
MARCUS that made thys Booke, as heereafter followeth. Thefe two 
breethren remayned in Venice the fpace of two yeares, tarying the creation 
of a newe Pope, and feeyng howe long they had taryed, departed from 
Venice to lerufalem, for to gette fome of the Oyle that burned in the Lampe 
before the holy Sepulchre of oure Lorde God, for to carrie with them to 
the greate cane, according as he commaunded, and caryed with them 
MARCUS, fonne to the faide Nicholas, and after they had taken of the 
fayd oyle, returned to Acre, whereas the Popes Legate theobaldo was, 
and taking leaue or licence of him to returne to the great cane, for whome 
the fayde Legate gaue them Letters, feeing they woulde not tarrie to do 
their Embaffage to the Pope, and f^^yde, as foone as there was a new Pope 
created, he would doe their Embaffage to the Pope, and that he fhould 
prouide that which fhould be conuenient, and fo departed the two 
breethren, and marcus, and trauelled till they came to a Towne called 
Giaza. And in this time the Legate receyued Letters from Rome, that 
there was a new Pope created, called gregorie of Placentia. The fayd 
Legate incontinent fent his meffenger after thefe two breethren, that they 
fhould returne to Acre, certifying the, y there was a new Pope created: 
and they vnderftanding this, requefted the King of Armenia to com- 
maunde to arme forthe a Galley, wherein they fayled incontinente to the 
Pope, of whome they were well receyued, who hauyng hearde their 
Embaffage, ftreighte way gaue them two Friers, of the order of sainct 
dominike, being greate Clearkes, to go with them to the greate cane, 
the one of them was called Frier Nicholas of Venice, and the other Frier 
WILLIAM of Tripolle, the whiche were well feene and exercifed in difputa- 
tions in the defenfe of the holy Catholike faith. And thefe two reHgious 
men with Nicholas and mapheo, and marcus, trauelled, till they 


came to a Towne called Giaza. And in this time the Souldan oi Babylon 

came into Armenia, and did there greate hurte, and for that caufe, fearing 

to paffe anye further, the two Friers taryed there, and wrote to the greate 

CANE, that they were come thyther, and the caufe wherefore they wente 

not forwarde. The fayd Nicholas and mapheo, and marcus hys 

fonne wente on theyr ioumey, and came to a Citie called Bemeniphey 

where the great cane was, but in the way they pafled in greate daunger 

of their bodyes, and faw many things, as fhall heereafter be declared, 

and taryed in going betweene Giaza and Bemeniphe, a yeare and a halfe, 

by reafon of great Riuers, rayne, and cold in thofe countryes : and when 

the greate cane hadde knowledge that Nicholas and mapheo were 

returned, he fent to receyue them, more than fortie dayes ioumey, 

and at their comming receyued them with gret pleafure, and they kneelyng 

down, making great reuerence, he commaQded them to arife vp, de- 

mauding of them how they fpedde in their voyage, and what they had 

done with the Pope, and after they had made their anfweare to al things, 

deUuered to him the Friers letters that remayned in Giaza, and the oyle 

they had taken out of the Lampe that burned before the holy Sepulchre 

of lefus Ghrifte, whiche he receyued with great pleafure, and put it vp, 

and kept it in a fecrete place, with alfo the letters, and demaunding 

of them, who marcus was, they aunfwered, he was Nicholas 

fonne, of the which the great cane was glad, and toke him 

into his feruice, and gaue order to place him in his 

Court among his Lordes and Gentlemen. 

Here foloweth the difcourfe of many notable 

and flrange things, that the noble and worthy 

MARCUS PAULUS of the Citie of Venice did 

fee in the Eaft partes of the world 

Marco Polo 

ivasfent as 


from the 

great Cane. 

Marco Polo 
was in the 

great Canes 
Court Jeaxu- 

^ Howe MISER MARCO POLO vfcd himfelfe in the Court 
of the Great cane 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. i. Sect, rv (from line 19). Pauthier: Cbs. xv, xvi (Prologue). 
Tide: Chs. xv, xvi (Prologue). Benedetto: Chs. xvi, xvn] 

)ARCO POLO learned well not onely the vfed language and 
conditions of thofe people, but alfo other three languages, 
and coulde write and reade them, and by that meanes came 
in great fauour with the great cane, whofe pleafure was to 
proue what he could do, to be fent in Embaffage, and made 
hym his Embaffadour in one of his Countreys, fixe Monethes 
iourney. And he perceyuing the great cane had greate pleafure to heare 
newes, and oftentimes would find fault with his Embaffadoures and 
meflengers, when they coulde not make difcourfe, and tell him newes of 
the Countreys and places they trauelled into, he determined with himfelfe 
to note and vnderftand in that iourney all that could be fpoken, as well of 
the Townes, Cities, and places, as alfo the conditions and qualities of the 
people, noting it in writing, to be the more readie to make his aunfwere, 
if any thing Ihould be demaunded of him : and at his returne declared to 
the great cane the aunfwere of the people of that Countrey to his Em- 
baffage : And withall declared vnto hym the nature of Countreys, and the 
conditions of the people where he had bin, and alfo what he had heard 
of other Countreys, which pleafed well the great cane, and was in great 
fauoure with him, and fet great ftore by him, for which caufe, all the 
noble men of his Courte had him in great eftimation, calling him senior 
or Lorde. He was in the greate canes Court .xvij. yeares, and when 
anye greate Embaffage or bufmeffe fhoulde be done in any of hys Countreys 
or Prouinces, he was alwayes fente, wherefore, diuers great men of the 
Court did enuie him, but he alwayes kepte thys order, that whatfoeuer he 
fawe or heard, were it good or euill, hee alwayes wrote it, and had it in 
minde to declare to the great cane in order. 



The manner and wayes that the two breethren, and 
MARCUS PAULUS had for their retume to Venice 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. i. Sect, v (in part). Pauthier: C3h. xvn (Prol.). rule: Ch. xvn (Prol.). 

Benedetto'. Ch. xvin] 

^^^Hefayd Nicholas and mapheo, and marcus paulus, 
hauyng bin in ^ greate canes Court of a long time, de- 
maunded licence for to retume to Venice, but he louing and 
fauouring them fo well, would not giue them leaue. And it 
fortuned in that time, that a Queene in India dyed, whofe 
name was balgonia, and hyr Hufbande was called Kyng 
ARGON. This Queene ordeyned in hir Teftamente, that hyr Hufbande 
fhoulde not marrie, but with one of hyr bloud and kynred, and for that 
caufe the fayde Kyng argon fente hys Embaffadors with great honor 
and companye to the Greate cane, defiring hym to fende hym for to bee 
hys Wife, a Mayde of the lignage of balgonia his firfte Wife. The names 
of thefe Embaffadors were called onlora, apusca, and edilla. 
When thefe Embaffadors arriued at the Courte, they were very well 
receyued by the Great cane. And after they hadde done theyr meffage, 
the Greate cane caufed to bee called before him a Mayden, whichc was 
called cozoTiNE, of the kindred of balgonia, the whyche was verye 
fayre, and of the age of feauenteene yeares. And as fhe was come before 
the Great cane, and the Embaffadors, the great cane fayde to the 
Embalfadors, thys is the Mayden that you demaunde, take hyr, and carrie 
hir in a good houre : 2ind wyth thys the Embaffadors were very ioyfuU and 
merrie. And thefe Embaffadors vnderftandyng of Nicholas and mapheo, 
and MARCUS paulus, Italians, which before that tyme had gone for 
Embaffadors vnto the Indians, and were defirous to depart from the greate 
CANE, defired hym to gyue them Ucence to goe, and accompanye that 
Lady: and the Greate cane, although not wyth good will, but for manners 
fake, and alfo for honour of the Ladye, and for hyr more fafegarde, in 
palling the Seas, bycaufe they were wife and Ikillull menne, was content 
they fhould goe. 



Marco Polo 
and his Father 
& Uncle had 
leaue to de- 
part, and went 
without Em- 



Ships vaith 

foure Majles in 

a Shippe, and 

fixe hundred 

men in euery 

Shippe, and 

vittayledfor two 

yeares. Within 

thru Monethes 

fayling, they 




sn |kL /Y^ 


How they fayled to laua 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. i. Sects, v (last 23 lines), vi. Pauthier: CSi. xvm (Prol.). 
Tide: Ch. xvin (Prol.). Benedetto: Ch. xix] 

>Auing licence of the Create cane, the fayde Nicholas & 
MAPHEO, and MARCUS PAULUS, as aforefayde, as his 
cuftome was, gaue them two Tables of golde, by the whiche 
he did fignifie that they fhould paffe freelie through all his 
prouinces and dominions, and that theyr charges ftiould be 
borne, and to be honourably accompanyed. And befides 
this, the great cane fent diuers EmbafTadors to the pope, and to the 
Frenche King, and to the King of Spayne; and to many other Prouinces 
in Chriftendome, and caufed to be armed and fette forth foureteene great 
Shippes, that euery one of them had four Maftes. To declare the reafon 
wherefore he did this, it were too long, therefore I let it paffe. In euery 
Shippe he put fixe hundreth men, and prouifion for two yeares. In thefe 
Shippes wente the fayd Embaffadors, with the Lady and Nicholas, and 
MAPHEO breethre, and marcuspaulus aforefayd, and fayled three 
Monethes continually, and then arriued at an Ilande called laua, being 
in the South partes, in the which they found maruellous and ftrange 
things, as heereafter fhall be declared. And departing from this Hand, 
fayling on the Indian Seas .xviij. Moneths before they came to the place 
they would come to, founde (by the way) many maruellous and ftrange 
things, as heereafter fhall be declared. 

How NICHOLAS and mapheo, and marco polo returned 

to Venice, after they had feene and heard many 

maruellous thinges 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. i. Sects, v (last 23 lines), vi. Pauthier: Ch. xvra (Prol.). 
Tule: Ch. xvm (Prol.). Benedetto: Ch. xnc. (All continued)] 

Fter their arriuall with this forefayde Lady to the Kingdome 
they went vnto, they found that the King argon was dead, 
and for that caufe, married that mayde to his fonne:' and 
there did gouerne in the roome of the Kyng, a Lorde, whofe 
name was archator, for bycaufe the King was very 
yong. And to this Gouernoure or Uiceroy, was the Em- 



baffage declared, and of him the two Breethren and marco polo de- 
maunded licence to goe into their Countrey, whiche he graunted, and 
withall gaue them foure Tables of gold, two of them were to haue ler- 
fawcons, and other Hawkes with them. The thirde was, to haue Lyons. 
And the fourth was, that they fhoulde goe free, withoute paying any 
charges, and to be accompanyed and enterteyned as to the Kings owne 
perfon. And by this commaundement, they had company and gard of 
two hundreth Knightes from Towne to Towne, for feare of manye 
Theeues vppon the wayes : and fo much they trauelled, that they came to 
Trapefonfia, and from thence to Conjlantinople, and fo to Nigra Ponto, and 
finallie, to Venice, in the yeare of oure Lord God .1295. 
^ This we doe declare, for that all men fhall knowe, that Nicholas and 
MAPHEO breethren, and marco polo, haue feene, hearde, and did 
knowe the maruellous things written in this Booke, the which declaring 
in the name of the Father, and the Sonne, and the holy Ghoft, fhall be 
declared as heereafter foUoweth. 

The relume 
of the two 
breethre and 
Marco Polo 
to Venice in 
Anno .1295. 

0£ Armenia the leffer, and of many things 
that there is made 

chapter 5 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. n. Pauthier: Bk. 1. Gh. XK. rule: Bk, i. Ch. i. Benedetto: Oi. xx] 

'Irft and formoft, I will beginne to declare of the Prouince of 
Armenia, noting fuche commodities as there is. You fhall 
vnderftand, there be two Armenias, the greater, and the 
leffer. In the lelfer, there is a King fubied to the Tartar, 
and he dothe maynteyne the Countrey in peace and iuflice. 
In this Countrey be many Cities and Townes, and greate 
abundance of all things. In thys Countrey they take great pleafure and 
paftime in Hawking and Hunting, as well of wilde beaftes, as of Fowles 
of all fortes. In that Countrey be many infirmities, by reafon the ayre is 
yll there, and for that caufe, the men of that Countrey, that were wonte 
to be valiant and ftrong in armes, bee turned nowe to be vile, and giuen 
to ydleneffe and drunckenneffe. In this Prouince vpon the Sea fide, there 
is a Citie called Gloza, wherevnto is greate trade of Merchandife, and all 
Merchantes that doe traffique thither, haue their Cellers and Warehoufes 
in that Citie, as well Venetians, and lanoueys, and all other that do occupye 
into Leuant. 

They take 
great plefure 
in Hawking 
and hunting. 

A Citie vpon 
the Sea fide, 
called Gloza. 



Good Horfes 
called accord- 
ing to the 
manos and 
good Moyles. 
Goodly rich 
carpets made 
Cloth ofjilke 
of Crimjon, 
and other 
made heere. 
Heere was 
Saint Blafe 

Of the Torchomanos in Armenia the leffer 

[Marsdm: Bk. i. Gh. m. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xx. Tule: Bk. i. Gh. n. Benedetto: Ch. xxi] 

Haue declared vnto you o^ Armenia the lefler, and now I will 
ftiewe you of Torckomania, whiche is a part o^ Armenia^ in the 
which ther be three maner of people, the one called Torcho- 
manos, and thofe bee Mahomets, and fpeake the Perjian 
language, and they Hue in the Mountaynes and fieldes, 
whereas they may finde pafture for their Cattell, for thofe 
people Hue by ^ gaines of their CatteU. There be very good Horfes called 
Torchomani, and good Moyles of great value. The other, or fecond maner 
of people be Armenians and Greekes, and thofe dwell and Hue togither, and 
Hue by occupations and trade of Merchandifes. There they doe make very 
goodly and rich Carpettes, large and fayre, as you fhall finde in any place. 
Alfo, they worke there, cloth of Crymfon Silke, and other goodly couloures. 
The chiefeft Cities in that Countrey be Ckemo, Ifiree, and Sebajio, whereat 
SAINT BLASE was martircd. There be alfo many Townes, of which I 
make no mention, and they bee fubiede to the tartar of the Eaft, and 
he fetteth gouernoures there. 

0£ Armenia the greater, and of the 
Arke of noe 

chapter 7 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. iv. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxi. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. m. Benedetto: Ch. xxn] 

)Rmenia the greater is a greate Prouince or Countrey. In the 
beginning thereof is a greate Citie caUed Armenia, where 
they doe make excellente bochaghims or Buckrams. In 
this Citie be very good Bathes naturallye. And this Coun- 
trey is fubied to the tartar, & there is in it many Cities 
& Townes, and the moft noble Cide is called Archinia, 
which hath ioyning to it two prouinces, the one called Archeten, the other 
Arzire. In this Citie is a Bifhop. The people of this Coimtrey in -y fommer 
time bee in the paftures & meddowes, but in ^ winter they can not, by 
reafon of y great cold, fnow, & waters, for then it is fo colde, y fcant the 
cattell and beaftes can Hue there, and for this caufe they do driue their 



cattel into warmer places, wher they haue grafle piety. In this gret 
Armenia is ^ Arke of noe on a high Mountain towards -^ South, which doth 
ioyne to a Prouince towardes the Eaft called Maujill. And in that Pro- 
uince dwell Chriftians, which be called Jacobites, and Nejiorians Heretikes, 
of the which hereafter ftiall be fpoken. This Countrey towards the North 
doth ioyne vpon the Georgians, of the whych fhall be fpoken in the next 
Chapter. In this part towards the Georgians there is a well, the water 
wherof is like oyle, and is of great abundance <2? quan title, that fometimes 
they lade .100. Ships with it. And this oyle is not good to eate, but for 
Lamps and Candles, and to annoint Camels, Horfes, and other beaftes 
that be galled, fcabbie, and haue other infirmities, and for this caufe it 
is fetched into diuers places. 

Heere on a 
high Mouti' 
tayne rejled 
the Arke of 
Noe after the 
Heere be 
Chriftians of 
and lacobites 
Here is a wel 
that the water 
is like to Oyle, 
and is occu- 
pyedfor diuers 

Of the Georgians, and of the Tower 
and gate of yron 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. v. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch, xxn. Ttde: Bk. i. Ch. iv, Benedetto'. Ch. xxni] 

|N Georgiania is a king called nand maliche, which is as 
much to fay as dawn id, and is fubied to the tartar. 
The faying is that in the olde time, the Kings of that Pro- 
uince were borne with a token or figne vnder their right 
fhoulder. In this Countrey ^ men be faire of body, venterous 
& valiant in armes, and good archers, and are Chriftians 
& Greekes mingled togither, & they go all with their heare like Prieftes. 
This is the Prouince y King Alexander could not paffe, whe he woulde 
haue come towards the Weft parts, bycaufe ^ wayes were dangerous & 
narrow, & compafled on -^ one fide \vith ■^ Sea, & on the other fide with 
high Mountaines, that no Horfe can pafle, or go for -y^ fpace of four 
leagues, for -^ way is fo narrow & ftrog, y a few me be able to keepe it 
againft al the hoftes of y world. And K. Alexander perceiuing y by 
no meanes he coulde pafle, would likewife make prouifion, that the people 
of that Countrey might not pafle to him. And made there a greate & 
ftrong Tower, which is called the Tower and gate of yron. In this Pro- 
uince of the Georgians be many Cities and townes, & there they do make 
great piety of cloth of gold, & of fiike in great abundance, for they haue 
greate plentie of filke. And there doe breede the goodlyeft and beft 
Hawkes in the world. And the Countrey is plentifull of all things neede- 

Heere was 
King Alex- 
ander put 
backe and 
could not be 
fuffered to paffe. 

In this 
countrey be 
Cities and 
Townes where 
is made gteat 
plenty of cloth 
of gold, and of 



good hawkes. 
Great trade of 

A Monafiery 

of Monckes of 

the order of 

S. Bernard. 

A water or 

lake offyxe 

hundred miles 


wherein is no 

fijh, but only 

in the Lent. 


full. They liue there by the trade of Merchandife, and by labour of the 
Countrey. Through all this Countrey is greate Mountaynes, and the way 
narrow and flrong, and many welles, and for this caufe the tartars can 
neuer haue the vpper hand of them. There is a Monafterie of Monckes 
of the order of saint Bernard e, and hard by the Monafterie there is 
a water that defcendeth from the Mountayne, in the which they find no 
fifhe, but in Lent, and then they do take it in greate plentie from the firfte 
day of Lent, till Eafter euen. The place is called Geluchelan, and hath fixe 
hundred Miles compaffe, and it is from the Sea twelue dayes iourney, ana 
this water entreth into Euphrates, whyche is one of the foure principall 
Riuers whiche come from Paradice terrenall, and commeth out o^ India, 
and is deuided into many branches, and doth compaffe thofe hilles. From 
thence they bring a filke called Gella. Now I haue declared vnto you the 
partes of Armenia which be towards the North, and now I wil declare 
vnto you of others their neyboures which be towards the South and Weft. 

Here is made 

cloth of 

golde arid 

filke, called 


Of the parties o£ Armenia towards the South, 
and of the Kingdome of Mojull 

chapter 9 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. vi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxm. rtde: Bk. i. Ch. v. Benedetto: Ch. xxiv] 

I Ofull is a great Kingdome, in the which dwell many genera- 
tions of people called Arabies, and all be of the fede of 
MAHOMET, although there be fome Chriftians, called 
lacobites, and Nejlorians, and thefe haue by themfelues a 
Patriarke, called iacobia, and he dothe inftitute Biftiops, 
• Archbiftiops, Abbots, Prieftes, and other Religious men. 
There is made cloth of gold, and of filke, which be called by the name of 
the Kingdome Mofulinus, and there is greate plentie and abundance of it, 
and alfo greate plentie of fpices and good cheape, and of other Mer- 
chandife. In the Mountaynes of this prouince dwell people called Cordos, 
and others called lacobinos. The reft be Moores of the fe<5l of mahomet, 
and be good men of warre, and be all rouers and robbers of Merchants. 



Of Baldach, and of many goodly 
things that be there 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. vii, vni (in part). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxiv. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. vi. 

Benedetto: Ch. xxv] 

iAldache is a very great Citie, in thewhych is refident one that 
is called galipho, whiche is among y Moores, as it were 
chiefe gouernour & head. Through the middeft of the Citie 
runneth a great Riuer, and goeth into the Lidian Sea. And 
there is from this Citie to the place where it entreth into 
the Sea .xviij. dayes iourney. From this Citie to the Sea, 
and from the Sea to this Citie, there dothe paffe dayly by this Riuer, in 
many and diuers veffels, diuers kinds of Merchandife, and they haue to 
their neyboure the India. And in this Countrey is a Citie called Ckiji. By 
this Riuer they goe to the Indian Sea. Betweene Baldach and Chiji vppon 
the Riuer is a Citie called Bar/era, compafled with greate Mountaynes of 
Palmes and Date trees perfed good. In Baldach they doe make cloth of 
golde of diuers fortes, and cloth of filke, called cloth of Nafich, of Chrimfon, 
and of diuers other coloures and fafhions. There is great plentie of foure 
footed Beaftes, and of Fowles. This Citie is one of the beft and the nobleft 
in the worlde. There was in this Citie a calipho of the Moores, wonderful! 
and maruellous rich of gold and pretious flones. And in the yeare of our 
Lorde God .1230. the King of the Tartars called alan, ioyned a greate 
company, and went and fette vpon this Citie, and toke it by force, being 
in the Citie one hundred thoufande Horfemen, befides infinite number 
of footemen. And there he founde a great Tower full of golde, filuer, and 
pretious ftones. And King alan feeing this great treafure, maruelled 
much, and fent for the calipho, and fayd vnto him: I do much maruell 
of thy auarice, that hauing fo great treafure, didft not giue parte of it to 
mainteyne valiant men, that might defend me from thee, knowing that 
I was thy mortall enimie. And perceyuing the calipho knewe not how 
to make him an anfwere, faid vnto him, bycaufe thou loueft this treafure 
fo well, I will thou fhalte haue thy fill of it, and caufed him to be Ihut 
faft in the fame Tower, where he lined foure dayes, and died miferably 
for hunger, and from that time forwards the Moores woulde haue no more 
CALiPHOsin that Citie. 

Thorough this 
Citie Baldach 
goeth a Riuer, 
and entreth 
into Sinos 

Great trade vp 
and down this 
Riuer, to and 
from the 

Here is made 
cloth of golde 
and of filke, 
called cloth 
of Nafich. 

Calipho is 

among the 
Moores, as 
the Pope is in 
This Citie was 
wonne in Anno 
.1230. 6>i Alan 
King of the 
Tartars, and 
he put the 
Calipho into 
a Tower 
among his 
treafure, and 
fo was 



This Citie 

Totis is a 

noble Citie, 

and of great 

trade of 


There is made 

cloth of gold 

and ofjilke 

veiy rich. 

To this 

City there 



from diuers 


Of a Citie called Totis, and of other 
notable things 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. ex. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxdc Tide: Bk. i. Ch. xi. Benedetto: Ch. xxx] 

'-^^^(Otis is a greate Citie of the Prouince or Countrey ofBaldach, 
in the whiche Prouince there be manye Cities and Townes, 
but the moft nobleft is Totis. The people of thys Citie bee 
Merchantes, and handycraftes men. There they do make 
' cloth of golde, and of filke, very riche, and of greate value. 
And this Citie is fette in fo good a place, that they doe 
bryng thyther all Merchandifes of India, and ofBaldach, and of Ofma/eilli, 
and of Cremes, and of many other Cities and Countreys, and alfo of the 
Latines. There is greate plenty of pretious ftones, and for that caufe the 
Merchants gette muche. Thyther trade the Armenians, Jacobites, Mejlorians, 
Perfians, and thefe in a manner bee all Mahomets. Rounde aboute this 
Citie be many fayre Gardens full of fmgular good frutes, although the 
Moores that there doe dwell be very ill people, robbers and killers. 

Of a great miracle that hapned in Mofull 


[Marsden-.-HAi. i. Ch. vin (in part). Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. xxv, xxvi, xxvn, xxvm. 
Ytde: Bk. i. Chs. vn, vin, ix, x. Benedetto: Chs. xxvi, xxvn, xxvin, xxdc] 

|N Mofull, a Citie in the Prouince oiBaldach was a calipho, 
a great enimie of the Chriftians, whofe ftudie daye and 
night was how he might deftroy them, and to make them 
forfake their faith in lefus Chrift, and vpon this, ioyned in 
councell diuers times with hys wife men, and in the ende 
one of them faid, I will teU you a way how you fhal haue 
good caufe to kill, or force them to renounce their Faith. lefus Chrift 
fayth in hys Gofpell, If you haue fo much Faith as the grayne of a Mufiard 
feede, and f aye to thys Mountayne paje from this place to another place, it woulde 
do, therefore caufe to be called togither all the Chriftians, and commaund 
them by their beleefe, that fuch a hill doe palTe from that place to ftiche 
a place : truly it is not poflible for them to doe it, and not doing it, you 
may iuftly faye to them, that eyther theyr Gofpell dothe not faye truth. 


and by that meanes they follow lyes, or elfe they haue not fo much Fayth 
as a grayne of Muftarde feede. And thus as well for the one, as for the 
other, you maye iuftly putte them to death, or elfe force them to forfake 
theyr Fayth they holde. This councell pleafed well the c a lip ho, and 
thofe of hys fed, beleeuing, that nowe they hadde good occafion to per- 
forme their euill purpofe, and incontinent he commaunded all the 
Chryftians that were in hys Countrey, to come togither, whiche was a 
great number, and they being come before hym, he caufed the to reade 
thofe Scriptures of lefus Chrift. And after that euery one of them had 
hearde it, he a£ked them if they beleeued that thefe fayings were true, 
and they anfwered yea. Incotinent faid the CALiPHOto them, I wil giue 
you fifteene days refpite, to make either yoder hil to paffe to fuch a place, or 
elfe to renounce youre fayth in lefus Chrifte as falfe, and to turne Moores, 
and if you will not doe this, you ftiall all die. And the Chriftians hearing 
this cruell fentence, were fore troubled, yet on the other part they com- 
forted themfelues, with hope in the faith they had in the truth they be- 
leeued. And incontinent the Bifhops, and Prelates, and Minifters that 
were among the Chriftians, commaunded all the Chriftians, men, women, 
and children, to fall to continuall Prayer to oure Lorde lefus Chrift, that 
he would helpe and councell them howe to rule and gouerne themfelues 
in that greate trouble and neede. 

^ And after eyght dayes were paft, appeared an Angell to a holy Bifhop, 
and commaunded him that he ftiould fay vnto a Shomaker that was a 
Chriftian, that had but one onely eye, that he ftiould make Prayers to 
Gc>d, the which for his fayth and Prayers, ftioulde make that hill remoue 
from his place, into the place the calipho had appoynted. And in- 
continente the Bifliop fente for that Shomaker, and with great defire 
prayed him to make Prayers to oure Lord God, that for hys mercie and 
pitie he woulde remoue that hill as the calipho and Moores had ap- 
poynted. The poore Shomaker excufed himfelfe, faying, he was a greate 
Sinner, and vn worthy to demaund that grace of God : and this excufe he 
made with great humiUtie, like a iuft and chaft man, full of vertue and 
holynefle, and a keeper of Gods commaundements, deuoute, and a great 
almes man, according to his abilitie. 

^ You ftiall vnderftande, that thys Shomaker dyd pull out his eye by this 
meanes: He hadde hearde manye times this faying in the Gofpell, If thy 
eye offende thee pull it out, and caji it from thee. He being a fimple man, 
thought, that fo corporally and materially the Scriptures fhoulde be 
vnderftanded. For it chanced on a time, there came a Mayde into his 
Shoppe to befpeake a payre of Shoes, and to take the meafure of hir foote. 

A great 

A Mountain 
one place to 


The Calipho 


chrijlned, and 

a great riiber 

of his Moores. 


put off hir hofe, and he withall was tempted to lye with hu", remembring 
himfelfe, and thinking vpon his finne and yll intent, fent hir away, without 
difcouering any thing of his yll thoughte and intente, and remembring 
the faying of the holy Gofpell, being ouercome with zeale, and yet not 
hauing the true knowledge, plucked out his eye. And fo this Shomaker 
being fo defired by the Bifhop, and other Chriftians, did graunt, and pro- 
mifed to praye vnto our Lord God for the fayd caufe. And the time of 
the .XV. dayes being come, that the calipho had appoynted, he caufed 
to come togither all the Chriftians, whiche came in Proceflion with their 
Croffe, into a faire playne, hard by the hill and Mountayne. And to that 
place came the calipho, with muche people armed, with intention, 
that ftreight way, if the Mountayne did not remoue, to kill them all. 
Incontinente the Shomaker kneeled downe vppon the earth vpon his 
bare knees, and very deuoutely prayed to oure Lorde, lifting vp his hearte 
and handes to Heauen, praying to lefus Chrifte to fuccour and helpe 
them his Chriftians, that they fhoulde not periftie : and for that his faith 
was cleere, makyng an end of his Prayer, the power of the Almightie God 
lefus did caufe the Mountayne to remoue and goe from the place it 
ftoode, into the place the calipho and his Councell hadde commaunded. 
^ And the Moores feeyng thys greate and manyfeft miracle, ftoode 
wonderfully amazed, faying. Great is the God of the Chriftians, and the 
calipho, with a greate number of the fame Moores became Chriftned. 
And after this calipho dyed, the Moores that were not Chriftned, would 
not confente that this calipho fhould be buried, wheras the other 
Caliphoes were buried, for bycaufe that after that myracle, he lyued and 
dyed like a true and faythfuU Chriftian. 

OiPerJia, and of the Countreys of the Magos, and 
of other good things that be in them 

chapter 13 

[Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. xxx, xxxi. Tide: Bk. i. Chs. xra, xrv. Berudetto: Chs. xxxi, xxxn] 

Erjia is a noble Prouince or Countrey, although it was much 
more in the old time, than it is at this prefent, for it was 
deftroyed by the Tartars. In Perjia is a Citie called Sabba, 
from the which the faying is, the three Kings departed, 
that went to lefus Chrift, that was newly borne in Bethleem. 
In this citie there are Sepulchres, very faire and beautifuU, 



and I MARCUS paulus was in that Citie, and afked of the people of that 
Countrey what they could fay or knewe of the three Kings, to the which 
they could fay nothing, but that they were buried in thofe three Sepul- 
chres. But f other people out of the Citie three dayes iourney, talked of 
this matter in thys maner following, for the which you ftial vnderftad, 
that three days iourney fro the Citie Sabba is a Towne, which is called 
Calajfa Tapezijien, which in our language is as much as to fay the Towne 
of them that worfhip the fire for their God. And thefe people fay, that 
whe the three ELings departed fro y prouince, for to go to the land of 
the lewes, which was Bethleem, to worlhip the great Prophet there newly 
borne, they carried with the Golde, Incenfe, and Myrre, and when they 
came to Bethleem in ludea, found a child lately borne, and did worfhippe 
him for God, and prefented to him the forefaide three things: and that 
the faid child did giue the a little Boxe, clofed, or fhut faft, commanding 
the they fhould not open it. But they, after they had trauelled a long 
iourney, it came in their mindes to fee what they carried in the faid Boxe, 
and opened it, and foud nothing in it but only a ftone: and they taking 
it in ill parte, that they fawe nothing elfe, did caft it into a well, and by 
and by defcended fire from Heauen, and burnt all the Well wyth the 
ftone. And the Kings feeing this, each of them toke of the fame fire, and 
carried it into their Countreys : and for thys caufe they do worfhip the 
fire as God. And when it chanceth in any place in that Countrey that 
they lacke fire, they goe to feeke it in another place where they ca get of 
it, and fo do light their Lampes. And fometimes they goe and feeke it 
eyght or tenne dayes iourney, and not finding of it, they goe ofttymes to 
the Well aforefayd, to haue of the fame fire. Of all this before written, 
you Ihall take y which doth agree with the holy Gofpell, in faying the 
three Kings went to worfhip our Lord lefu, and did offer thofe giftes 
aforefaide. All that is declared befides that, be erroures, and reacheth 
not to the truth, but augmeted with lyes vpon lyes, as the vulgar people 
without knowledge are accuftomed to do. 

In this Citie 
Sabba the 
three Kings 
met that wet 
to woijhip 
Chrijl, and 
heere they 
were buried. 

The three 
Kings offered 
Gold, Incenfe, 
and Myrre. 

A miracle if 
it be true. 



Heere is great 

plenty qffayre 


Moyles, and 


Heere is made 

great plentie of 

rich cloth of 

gold &Jilke. 

Of eyght Kingdomes in Perfia, and the 
commodities of them 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxxn, Tule: Bk. 1. Ch. xv. Benedetto'. Ch. xxxm] 

N the Prouince oi Ferfia be eyght Kingdomes, the firft is 
called Caju% the fecond which is towardes the South is 
Curdijian^ the third Lore^ the fourth Ciejian^ the fifth lujianth, 
the fixth Iciagif the feauenth Corchara, the eyght Tunchay. 
All thefe Kingdomes be in Perfia, in the partes towards the 
South, fauing Tunchay. In thefe Kingdomes be very faire 
Horfes and Moyles, & courfers of great value, and Affes the greateft in 
the worlde, & of great price, that wil go and runne very fwiftely, and thefe 
the Merchants of India do commonly buy in the Cities of Atrifo, & of 
Arcones, which do ioyne by Sea vpon the India, and do fel the as Merchan- 
dife. In this Kingdome Tunchay be very cruell me, y wil kill one another. 
If it were not for feare of ^ tartar of the Eaft, which is their Lord and 
King, neyther Merchant nor other could paffe, but Ihould be eyther 
robbed or taken prifoner. They be ftrong people, and be of the fe<5l of 
MAHOMET. There they do worke, and make greate plentie of cloth of gold 
and filke in great abundance and rich. In that Countrey groweth greate 
plentie of Gotten wooll. Alfo, there is greate abundance of Wheate, Barly, 
Dates, and other grayne, and Wine, and Oyles, and frutes. 

Heere they 
do make gret 


plentie of 

th ofgolde 


Oflafoy, and of many maruellous things there 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xii, xin, xrv, xv (first 12 lines). Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. xxxm, xxxrv, 

XXXV, xxxvi (first 10 lines). Tule: Bk. 1. Chs. xvi, xvii, xvui, xix (first 12 lines). 

Benedetto: Chs. xxxiv, xxxv, xxxvi, xxxvii (first 7 lines)] 

' Afoy is a goodly Citie and bigge, full of Merchants. There 
they do make great abundance of cloth of gold, and filke. 
They be called accord^nig to the Citie lafoy. The people of 
this Countrey be of the fed of martin pinol, that is, 
MAHOMET, and do fpeake another language than the 
Perjians. And going forward eyght dayes ioumey from this 
Citie, through a playne Countrey, but not peopled, or anye Towne, 
fauing Mountaynes, where is great plentie of Partriches, and wild AjGTes, 



at the ende of this, is the Kingdome of the Crerina, that is, a Kingdome of 
the PerJianSi of a great and long inheritance. 

fl In this Countrey they doe finde greate plentie of pretious ftones, and 
of Turides great ftore in the Mountaynes, in the whiche Mountaynes, is 
greate plentie of Uayne, or Ore of Steele, and of calamita. In this 
Citie, they do make greate plentie of coftly faddles, bridles, and hamefles 
for H6rfes, and for noble men Swords, bowes, and other riche furniture 
for Horfe and Man. The Women of this Countrey doe nothing, but com- 
maunde their Seruauntes. They make alfo there very riche cloth of gold 
and filke. And in thofe Mountaynes be exceeding good Hawkes, valiaunte, 
and fwifte of wings, that no fowle can fcape them. And departing from 
Crerina, you fhall goe eyght dayes iourney in playne way, full of Cities and 
Townes, very faire, and there is pleafaunte Hawking by the way, & great 
plentie of Partriches. And being paft the fayd eyght dayes iourney, there 
is a going downe the hil of two dayes iourney, whereas there is great plenty 
of frutes. In the olde time there was manye Townes and houfes, and now 
there be none but heardmen, that keepe the Cattell in the field. From 
the Citie of Crerina^ to this going down, al the winter is fo great cold, that 
although they go very wel clothed, they haue ynough to do to Hue. And 
being paft this going downe two dayes iourney forwarde, you fhall come 
into a faire playne way, the begimiing whereof is a great faire Citie, 
called Camath, the whiche was in the old time noble and greate, and nowe 
is not fo, for that the Tartars haue deftroyed it. That playne is very hote, 
and that Prouince is called Reobarle. There be apples of Paradife, and 
Feftucas, and Medlars, and diuers other goodly frutes in great abundance. 
There be Oxen maruellous great, the heare ftiort and foft, and the homes 
Ihort, bigge, and fharp, and haue a greate rounde bunche betweene the 
fhoulders, of two fpannes long. And when they will lade thefe Oxen, they 
do kneele downe on theyr knees like Camels, and being lade, do rife, and 
they Carrie great weight. There the Sheepe be as greate as AiTes, hauing 
a greate tayle, and thicke, that will weigh .32. pound, and be maruellous 
good to eate. In that playne be many Cities & townes with walles, and 
Towers of a great heigth for the defence of the enimies, called Caraones, 
which be certaine Uillages. The people of that Countrey their Mothers 
be Indians, and their fathers Tartars. When that people will go a robbing, 
they worke by enchantment by the Deuill, to darken the aire, as it were 
midnight, bycaufe they woulde not bee feene a farre off, and this darke- 
neffe endureth feauen dayes. And the Theeues that know well ail the 
wayes, goe togither, withoute making anye noyfe, and as many as they 
can take, they robbe. The olde men they kill, and the yong men they fell 


ftones, as 
Turkifes and 

Sadies and 
bridles, and 
other coftly 
furniture for 
Cloth of gold 
and filke. 
Excellent good 

Sheepe as 
great as AJfes. 



for flaues. Their King is called hegodar, and of a truth I marc us 
PAULUS do tell you, that I efcaped very hardly from taking of thefe 
robbers, and that I was not flaine in that darkeneffe, but it pleafed God, 
I efcaped to a towne called Ganajfalim, yet of my companie they toke and 
flewe many. This playne is towardes the South, and is of feauen dayes 
iourney, and at the end of them is a moutayne, called Detujiljino, that is 
eighteene miles long & more, and is alfo very daungerous with theeues, 
that do rob Merchauntes and all trauellers. At the ende of this mountaine 
is a faire playne, called the goodly playne, which is feauen dayes iourney, 
in the which there be many wels, and date trees, very good, and this 
playne bordereth vpon the Ocean Sea, and on the riuer of the fea, is a 
Citie called Carmoe. 

Of the Citie Carmoe, and of many maruellous 
and flraunge things that be there 


[Marsdm: Bk. i. Chs. xv (cont.), xvi (in part). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xxxvi (cont.). 
Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xix (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. xxxvu (cont.)] 

^Armoe is a greate Citie, and is a good porte of the Ocean fea. 

I Thither do occupie Merchats of the Indeas with fpices, cloth 

I of gold & filke, and with precious ftones, and Elephantes 

Great trade i^^^%^^ tccth, and is a Citic of great trade, with merchaundize, and 

of erchats. |^s^|]^^^^ is hcade of that kingdome, and the king is called mine- 

DANOGOMOYTH. It is vcry hote there, and y ayre in- 
fedious. When there doth dye any Merchaunt, they doe make hauocke 
of all his goods. In this Citie they do drinke wine made of Dates, putting 
good fpices to it, yet at the beginning of dinner it is daungerous, for thofe 
that be not vfed to it, for it will make them very foluble, flreight waye, 
but it is good to purge the body. The people of that Countrey do not vfe 
of our viduals, for when they eate bread of wheate and flefhe, by and by 
they fall ficke. Their viduals is Dates & falte, Tonny, Garlike & Onyons. 
The people of that Countrey be blacke, and be of the fed of mahomet. 
And for the great heate in the Sommer, they dwell not in the town, but in 
the fields, and in gardens, and Orchyards. There be many riuers and 
Wels, that euery one hath faire water for his garden : and there be manye 
that dwell in a defart, wheras is al fande, that ioyneth to that playne. 
And thofe people affoone as they feele the great heate, they goe into the 



waters, and there tarrie till the heate of the daye be paft. In that countrey, 
they do fowe their wheate and come in Nouember, and gather it in 
Marche. And in thys time the fruites be greater than in any place. And 
after March is pafte, the gralle, hearbes, and leaues of trees doe drie, 
fauing of Date trees, which continue till Maye. And in that countrey 
they haue this cuflome, that when the hulband doth dye, the wife and 
hir friendes doe weepe once a day, for the fpace of foure yeares. 

When the 
hufband dyeth 
the wife & 
the friends do 
weep once a 
day for the 
JPace of four 

Of the Citie ofCrerima, and the death of the 
Olde man of the Mountaine 


[Marsdm: Bk. r. Chs. xvii (in part), xxi (last lo lines). Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. xxxvi (cont.), XLn. 
Tide: Bk. i. Chs. xix (cont.), xxv. Benedetto: Chs. xxxvn (cont.), XLin] 

Eauing here this Citie, and not declaring any more, of the 
INDIANS, I retourne to the North wardes, declaring of thofe 
prouinces turning another way, to the Citie Crerima, afore- 
fayde, for bycaufe that way, that I would tell of, could not be 
trauelled to Crerima for the crueltie of the king of that countrie, whiche 
is called Reu me cla vacomare^ from whome fewe coulde fcapc, but eyther 
were robbed or flayne. And for this caufe manye kings did paye him 
tribute, and hys name is as muche to faye, as the olde man of the 
mountayne. But I wyll nowe declare vnto you, howe this cruell King 
was taken prifoner in the yeare of our Lord .1272. alan King of the 
Tartars of the Eaft, hearing of the greate crueltie of this olde man of the 
Mountayne, that he did, fent a great hoft of men, and befette his Caftell 
rounde about, and thus continued three yeares, and coulde neuer take 
it, till that vi duals did fayle them : for it was very ftrong, and vnpoffible 
to be gotten. At the length alan toke the Caftell, and the old man of 
the Mountayne : and of al his Souldioures and men he caufed the heads 
to be ftricken off, and from that time forwarde that way was very good 
for all trauellers. 



What is found in that Countrey 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch, xxn (first half). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xun. Tide: Bk. i. Ch. xxvi. 

Benedetto : Ch. xuv] 

Eparting from the forefayd Caftell, you Ihall come into a 
very faire playne, full of graffe, with all things in it fitte for 
mans fuftenance. And this playne dothe laft fixe dayes 
iourney, in the whiche there is many fayre Cities and 
Townes. The people of that Countrey fpeake the Perjian 
language, and haue greate lacke of water, and fometimes 
they Ihall fortune to go .40. miles, and not finde water. Therfore it fhall 
be needefuU for thofe that do trauell that way, to carrie water with them 
from place to place. And being paft thefe fixe dayes iourney, there is a 
Citie called Semper gaymey faire and pleafaunte, with abundance of vi(5hials. 
There be excellente good Mellones, and the beft Hunters for wilde beaftes, 
and taking of wilde Fowle, that be in the world. 

Of the Citie ofBaldack, and of many other things 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xxn (second half), xxin (first half). Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. xuv, xlv (in part). 
Tule: Bk. i. Chs. xxvn, xxvin (in part). Benedetto: Chs. xrv, XLVi (in part)] 

iRauelling forward in this Countrey, you fliall come to a 
Citie called Baldach, in the whiche King Alexander 
married with the daughter of darius king of ^ Perfiam. 
This Citie is of the Kingdome of Perfia^ & they do there 
'fpeake the Perjian tong, and be all of the fed of mahomet. 
'And this Countrey dothe ioyne with the tartar of the 
Eaft, betweene the Northeaft, and the Eafi:. And departing from this 
Citie towardes the Countreys of the faid tartar, you Ihall goe two dayes 
iourney, withoute finding any Towne, bycaufe the people of tiiat Countrey 
do couet to the flrong Mountaynes, bycaufe of the ill people that be there. 
In that Countrey be many waters, by reafon whereof is greate plenty of 
wild Fowle, and of wylde Beafts, and there be many Lions. It is needeflill 
for the trauellers that way, to carrie prouifion with them that Ihall be 
needefuU for themfelues, and for their Horfes thofe two dayes iourney. 


And being paft that, you fhall come to a Towne called Thaychan, a pleafaunt 
place, and well prouided of all vittayles needefull, and the hilles be to- 
wardes the South fake and large. That prouince is .xxx. dayes ioumey. 
And there is great pletie of fait, that all the Cities and Townes thereaboutes Gnat plenty 
haue their fait from thence. "-^^^ ^' 

Of that Coiintrey 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxra (second half). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xlv (cont.). 
Tule: Bk. 1. Ch. xxvm (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. xlvi (cont.)] 

[Eparting from that towne, and trauelling Northeaft, and to the 
Eaft for the fpace of three dayes iourney, you Ihall come to faire 
Cities and Townes well prouided of viftuals and frutes in great 
abundance, and thefe people do fpeake the Perjian language, 
and be mahomets. There be frngular good wines, and great drinkers, Good wines 
and yll people. They go bareheaded, hauing a Towell knit aboute their ^'^J^^^ 
browes. They weare nothing but fkinnes that they do dreffe. 

Of the Citie Echafen 

chapter 12 [21] 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxrv (lines i-i i). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xlv (cont.). 
Ttde: BL i. Ch. xxvm (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. xlvi (cont.)] 

I Fter that you haue trauelled forwarde foure dayes ioumey, 
you fhall come to a Citie called Echafen, on a playne, and 
there is not farre from it manie Cities and townes, and great 
plentie of woods about it. There goeth through the middeft 
of this Citie a gret riuer. There is in that countrie, many 
wilde beaftes, and when they be difpofed to take anye of 
them, they will caft dartes, 2ind fhoote them into the flancks and into the 
fides. The people of that countrey doe fpeake the Perjian tong, and the 
hufbandmen, with their cattayle do hue in the fieldes and in the woods. 



Of the manner of the Countrie 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxrv (lines i i-end). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. XLV (cont.). 
Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxvin (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. xlvi (cont.)] 

Eparting from this Citie, you fhall trauayle three dayes ioumey, 
without comming to any towne, or finding any viduals eyther 
to eate or drinke, and for thys caufe the trauellers do prouide 
themfelues for y time, & at the end of thefe three days ioumey, 
you fhal come to a prouince called Ballajia. 

Of the prouince called Ballajia, and of 
the commodities there 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxv. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xlvi. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxrx. Benedetto: Ch. XLvn] 

)Allqfia is a great prouince, & they do fpeake the Perjian tong, 

<2?be MAHOMET s, and it is a great kingdome, and auncient. 

There did raygne the fucceffours of king Alexander, and 

of DARIUS king of P^7y?<2. And their king is called culturi, 

which is as much to fay, as Alexander, and is for re- 

membraunce of the great king alexader. In this coun- 

trey grow the precious ftones, called Ballajfes of greate value. And thefe 

ftones you can not carrie out of the countrey without fpeciall licence of 

the king, on pain of leefing life and goods. And thofe that he doth let 

paffe by, eyther he doth forgiue tribute of fome king, or elfe that he doth 

fell : and if they were not fo ftraightlye kept, they would be little worth, 

there is fuch great plentie of them. This countrie is very colde, and there 

is found greate plenty of filuer: there be very good courfers, or horfes, that 

be neuer Ihod, by caufe they breede in the mountaines and woods. There 

is great plentie of wilde foule, and greate plentie of corne, and Mylo, and 

Ijdio. In this kingdome be great woods & narrow ways, flrong men, and 

Foriackeof good Archcrs, and for this caufe they feare no bodie. There is no cloth, 

peoptwlare they apparcll themfelues with fkinnes of beaftes that they kil. The women 

Ikinnes of do wcarc Wrapped aboute their bodies like y neather part of garments, 

^tfu^kii. fome an hundreth fathom, & fome fourefcore, of linnen very fine and 

thinne, made of flaxe and Cotton wool, for to feeme great and fayre, and 

they doe weare breeches very fine of filke, with Mufke put in them. 


Of the Prouince ofAbafsia where the 
people be blacke 


[Marsden: Bk, i. Ch. xxvi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. XLVii. Yule: Bk. i. Ch. xxx. 
Benedetto: Ch. XLvm] 

jFter you be departed fro Ballajia eyght dayes iourney towards the 
South, you haue a prouince called AbaJJia^ whofe people be 
blacke, and do fpeake the Perjian tong, and doe worfhip IdoUes, 
There they do vfe Negromancie. The men do weare at their 
heares iewels of golde, liluer, and pretious ftones. They be malicious 
people, and leacherous, by reafon of the great heate of that Countrey, 
and they eate nothing but flelh and Rice. 

Of the Prouince called Thafsimury and 
of many things there 


\Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxvn. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. XLvra. Yule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxi. 
Benedetto: Ch. xlk] 

'Ithin the iurifdidion of this Countrey, betweene the Eaft 
and the South, there is a Prouince called Thajfymur^ and the 
people do fpeake the Perjian tong. They be Idolaters, and 
great Negromancers, and do call to the Spirits, and make Negrommms. 
them to fpeake in the Idols, and do make their Temples 
feeme to moue. They doe trouble the ayre, and doe many 
other diuelilh things. From hence they may go to the Indian Sea. The 
people of that Countrey be blacke and leane, and do eate nothing but 
flefli and Rice. The Countrey is temperate. In this Countrey be many 
Cities and Townes, and rounde about many hilles and ftrong wayes to 
paffe. And for this caufe they feare no body, and their King dothe 
mainteyne them in peace and iuftice. There be alfo Hermites, that do 
keepe great abftinence in eating <S? drinking. And there be Monafteries, 
and many Abbeys, with Monkes, very deuout in their Idolatrie and 



Of the faide prouince of Thajfymur 


[Marsdm: Bk. 1. Ch, X3cvn (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. XLvm (cont.). 
Ttde: Bk. i. Ch. xxxi (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. xux (cont.)] 

Minde not now to paffe further in this prouince, for in pafling of 
it I ftiould enter into the IndeaSy wherof for this time I wil not 
declare any thing, but at the retume, I wil declare of it largely, 
as wel of the commodities there, as alfo of their manner, and vfages. 


days tourney 

Of a prouince called Vochaym 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxviii. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xux. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxn. Benedetto: Ch. l] 

|Eparting from BalaJJia, you fhall goe three dayes ioumey be- 
tweene the Northeaft, and by a riuer that is neare to BalaJJia. 
In thys prouince be many Cities and townes. The men of this 
prouince be valiaunt in armes, and fpeake the Perjian language, 
and be mahomets. At the ende of this three dayes ioumey is a Citie 
called Vochayn very long, of three dayes ioumey on eyther fide. The people 
of this prouince, be fubiede to the king of BalaJJia, and there be greate 
hunters of wilde beaftes, and taking of wilde foules in great number. 

Sheep that 
haue homes 

offoure or 
fiue and ten 
Jpans long. 

Of the nouelties of this Countrey 

chapter 28 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxviii (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xux (cont.). 
Ttde: Bk. i. Ch. xxxii (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. l (cont.)] 

>Hree dayes ioumey going forewarde, you Ihall goe vp an 
hill, vpon the whiche is a riuer, and goodly fruitefull 
paftures, that if you put in your cattell there, very leane, 
within tenne dayes they wil be fat. There be greate plentie 
'of wylde beaftes, and among them wilde fheepe, that fome 
' of them haue their homes of foure and fome of feuen, and 
fome of tenne fpannes long. And of thefe homes the heardemen there 
doe make difhes, and fpones. In the valey of this mountaine called Plauor, 
you Ihall trauell tenne dayes iourney, without comming to anye towne. 


or anye graffe, therefore it fhall be needefuU, for the traueylours that 
waye, to carrie prouifion with them, as wel for themfelues, as for their 
horfes. There is greate colde in that Countrey, that the fire hath not the 
ftrength to f^ethe their viduals, as in other Countries. 

Of the Defert Bofor, and of manye 
maruellous things there 

CHAPTER 39 [29] 

[Marsdm: Bk. r. Ch. xxviii (cont,). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. xlix (cont.). 
Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxn (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. l (cont.)] 

^Fter that you be departed from thence, within three daies 
I ioumey you fhal be faine to traueli fortie dayes ioumey 
continually vpon Mountaines, Heathes, and Ualleys, be- 
tweene the Northeaft and Eaft, and palling ouer diuers 
iriuers and deferts. And in all this waye, you fhall come to 
no towne nor habitation, nor graffe, and therefore it is 
needefull for thofe that do traueli that waye, to carrie with them prouifion 
and viduals for themfelues and their horfes. And this Countrey is called 
Bofor. The people there hue on the high hils, & be called people of the 
Mountaines. They be Idolaters, and hue by their cattel, and be cruell 

Fortie dayes 
iournej) and 
haue no habi- 

Of the prouince Cafchar and of other Nouelties 

CHAPTER 40 [30] 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxdc Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. l. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxm. 

Benedetto: Ch, li] 

|Eaue this prouince, and let vs goe to another called Cafchar, that 
in olde time was a kingdome, although nowe it be fubiedl to the 
greate cane. In this prouince are manye faire Cities and 
townes, the befl is Cafchar: they i)e all Mahometes. This prouince 
is betweene the Northeafl & the Eafl. In it be many great Merchants, 
faire poffeflions and Uines, they haue much Cottenwooll there, and very 
good. The Merchaunts of that countrey bee neare, and couetous. In this 
prouince which endureth fiue dayes ioumey, be ChrifHans called 
Neflorians, and haue Churches, and fpeake the Perfian tong. 



Of Sumartharif and of a miracle 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxx. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. li. Ttde: Bk. i. Ch. xxxiv. Benedetto: Ch. ui] 

Vmarthan is a Citie great and faire, in the which dwell 
Chriftians, and Moores, that be fubied to -^ great cane: 
but this king beareth them no good will. In this Citie 
chaunced a maruellous thing. A brother of the greate 
CANE, that was Lorde of that Countrey, became a Chriftian, 
by meanes whereof, the Chriftians there, receyued great 
comfort, and buylded them a Churche, in the name of Saint lohn Baptift. 
And it was builded in fuch forte, that one Filler of Marble ftanding in the 
middeft, did beare vp all the roufe of the Church, and the Chriftians did 
put vnder the fayde piller a goodly Marble ftone, whiche was the moores, 
and for bycaufe the king was a Chriftian, they durft fay nothing of it. 
This king died, and one of his fons fucceeded him in the kingdome, which 
was no Chriftian, and on a time the Moores demaunded their ftone of ^ 
Chriftians, thinking that in taking away that ftone, the whole roufe of the 
Church would fal downe : and the Chriftians did offer to pay the Moores 
for the ftone, what they woulde demaunde : but they woulde not by anye 
meanes, but haue their ftone, and in the ende, the new king commaunded 
the Chriftians to reftore the ftone to the Moores, and the time appointed 
being come, that the Moores would haue it, the fayde Piller lifted it felfe 
vp, three fpannes aboue the ftone, and fo haged in the ayre, that the 
Moores might take away their ftone, and yet the Church fell not, and fo 
doth the Piller remayne til this day. 

Of the prouince of Carcham 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lii. Yule: Bk, i. Ch. xxxv. Benedetto: Ch. lhi] 

Oing forwards, you fhall come to a prouince called Carcham, 
whiche is fine dayes iourney long, and is fubied to the greate 
CANE, and be mahomets, but there is among them Chriftians 
Neftorians. There is in this prouince aboundaunce of all things. 


Of the prouince Chota and of their manners 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxii. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. Liii. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxvi. Benedetto: Ch. liv] 

*^Hota is a prouince betweene the Northeaft, and the Eaft, and is 
of fiue dayes iourney, fubied to the gret cane, and be maho- 
METs. In this prouince there be diuerfe cities and towns, but the 
chiefeft is Chota. In this prouince be goodly pofTeflions, and faire 
Gardens and Uines, plentie of Wine and fruites, and Oyles, Wheate, 
Barley and all other viduals, great plentie of Cotton-woolL In this 
Countrey be rich Merchaunts, good and valiaunt men of armes. 

Of the prouince ofPqym and of their vfages 
chapter 34 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxni. Pauthier: Bk, i. Ch. liv, Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxvn. Benedetto: Ch. Lv] 

; Oym is a fmall prouince of fiue dayes iourney, it is betweene 
the Northeafte and the Eaft, and be fubiedl to the great 
CANE, and be mahomets, and the principall Citie is 
called Poym. In this prouince there is a riuer, in the whiche 
there is founde precious ftones, called iaspes and calce- lajpesmd 
donies, there is great plentie of all kinde of vi duals, and 
great trade of Merchandizes. In this prouince there is this cuftome, that 
when the hufband departeth from his houfe for fifteene or thirtie dayes, 
or more or leffe, if the wife can get another hufbande for the time, fhe 
taketh him, and the hufbande taketh another wife til he returne home to 
his houfe. 

Of the prouince oiCiarchan being in great Turkic 
chapter 35 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxiv (in part). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lv (in part). 
Tule: Bk. i. Ch. xxxviii (in part). Benedetto: Ch. lvi (in part)] 

L the prouinces beforefayde, from Cafchar, to this, be fub- 
iedes to the greate cane, and were of greate Turkic, in ^ 
which there is a great Citie called Ciarchan in a prouince 
alfo called Ciarcham, fet betweene the Northeaft & the Eaft, 
and the people of that Countrey fpeake the Perjian tong, and 
be Mahomets. In this prouince be many Cities, townes, and 



riuers, wherein be found many pretious ftones, called Calcedonies, whiche 
Merchauntes carry all the worlde ouer to fell, and get muche money by 
them. In this Countrey is aboundaunce of all things needefuU: And 
this prouince for the moft part is fandie, and the waters there, for the 
moft part, pleafaunt and fweete, yet in fome places brackifh. And the 
people of that Countrey, fering the ill people, do flie with their houfeholde 
ftuffe, and cattell, two or three dayes ioumey, till they maye come to 
fome good place, whereas is water and gralTe for their cattel, and by 
reafon the way is fandie, their trade is foone filled, by reafon whereof, the 
theeues knowe not howe to follow in that Countrey. 

7^ Citie lob. 

Of a great deferte, and of the Citie called lob 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xxxrv (end), xxxv. Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. lv (end), lvi. 
Yule: Bk. i, Chs. xxxviu (end), xxxjqc Benedetto: Chs. lvi (end), Lvn] 

Eparting from Ciarchan, you fhal trauayle fine dayes iourney 
in fande, and in the waye, frefti and fweete waters, and fome 
faltifh. Being pafte thefe fine dayes iomey, you fhal finde 
a great defert, and at the beginning of it a gret Citie called 
lob, betweene the Northeaft and the Eafte. They be vnder the 
obedience of the great c ane, v2? be Mahomets. And they that 
wil palfe this defert, had neede to be in thys Citie a weeke, for to prouide 
them viAuals and other necelTaries for them and theyr horfes for a moneth, 
for in thys defert, you fhall finde nothing to eate or drinke:- and there be 
many fandie hils, and greate. After you be entred into it one dayes 
iourney, you fhall finde good water, but after that neyther good nor badde, 
nor bealles, nor foules, nor any tiling to eate: and trauelling that waye by 
nighte, you fhall heare in the ayre, the found of Tabers and other inftru- 
ments, to putte the trauellers in feare, and to make them lofe their way, 
and to depart from their company, and loofe themfelues: and by that 
meanes many doe die, being deceiued fo, by euill fpirites, that make thefe 
foundes, and aifo do call diuerfe of the trauellers by their names, and 
make them to leaue their companye, fo that you fhall pafle this defert 
with great daunger. 


Of the prouince of Tanguith^ and of the Gitie Sangechian 
and of many ftraunge things there 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxvi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lvii. Yule: Bk. i. Ch. xl. Benedetto: Ch. Lvm] 

^Fter you be pafte the fayde thirtie dayes iourney by the 
I deferte, you fhall come to a Citie called Sangechian, fubied; to 
the greate cane. And this prouince is called Tanguith, in 
the whiche al be Idolaters, fauing fome be Ghriftians, 
Neftorians, and fome Mahomets. The Idolaters fpeake the 
Perjian tong, and doe liue by the fruites of that Countrey. 
There be among them manye Monafleries of the Idolaters, wher with 
great deuotion they bring their children, and with euerie of them a 
(heepe, and do prefent to their Idols: and euerie yeare they come with 
theyr children and make great reuerence to their Idols, & bryng with 
them their Iheepe, and kill them, and feeth them, and prefent them there, 
before their Idols, faying to them, they muft eate their meate, the which 
they can not doe, for they haue neyther mouth nor fenfe, and feeing their 
Idols doe not eate it, they carrie it home to their houfes with greate 
reuerence, and call theyr kyndered togyther, and do eate of it, as meate 
facrificed to their Gods, and put the bones in a bafket. When anye man 
or woman dieth, they burne the body: and this they accuftome to doe 
with al the Idolators. And in the way that the deade bodies Ihall palfe to 
be burnte, ftande all their friendes and kinffolkes to accompany the body a rick 
to the fepulchre, all clothed in cloth of golde and filke : and after the '^"^J^^f 
burnte bodye is put into the grounde, they caufe to be brought thither 
meate <2? drinke, and there they do eate and drinke with greate myrth, 
faying: Thefe bodies fhall be receiued in the other worlde with like 
honour. When they burne the bodies, they do alfo burne with them diuers 
papers paynted, of men, women, and beafles, faying, that as many 
pidures of men, women, and beafles, as they do burne with them, fo many 
feruaunts they fhall haue in the other world to doe them feruice: and 
when they cary them to bury, there goeth before them diuers kinds of 
infbruments playing. And whe one of thefe Idolators dieth, his friendes 
incontinentlye declare to the Aflrologers, the day and the houre hee was 
borne in, and wil not bury him before the day & houre the Aflrologers 
doe commaunde: by that meanes fome they bury flraightways, and 
fomtimes, they tarry ten, twenty, and thirtie dayes, and fometime fixe 


moneths, according as the Aftrologers doe commaunde : and in the meane 
time, they do fire the body with fpices, and put it in a coffin, and nayle 
it fafte, and lay a cloth ouer it, and euerye day they fet their table ouer 
the Coffin, and there do eate and drinke, and pray the dead body to eate 
with them. And when the day appointed is come for to bury him, the 
Aftrologers do fay, that if he hath layne there one month, it is not good 
to take him oute of that place, by the iudgement of the Gonftellations, 
and for that caufe mufte firft remoue him to fome other fide of the houfe, 
& from thence carry him to bury. 

Of the prouince Chamul, and of the 
euill cuftomes there 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xxxvii. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lviii. Tide: Bk. i. Ch. xli. Benedetto: Ch. ux] 

>Hamul is a prouince in the whiche be manye Citties and 
Townes, whereof the chiefeft is called Chamul, and this pro- 
uince is towards the winde called MaiJIral, which is North- 
eaft, and hath two Deferts : on the one fide, the Deferte is 
of three dayes iorney, and on the other fide as muche. The 
people of this Countrey worfhip Idols, and doe fpeake the 
Perfian tongue. They hue by their labor in the Countrey, and haue 
plentie of al things needefuU. They be people giuen much to their owne 
pleafure, as playing on inftrumentes, dauncing, and linging. And if any 
ftraunger doe goe to fee their paftime, they receiue him, and make very 
much of him, with feafting and cheare, and the goodman commaundeth 
his wife to make hym the befte cheare fhe can, and to obey him in al things 
he will commaunde or defire, and fo the goodman goeth to his laboure 
into the fieldes, and leaueth the ftraunger with hys wife, willing hir to 
obey hym as to his owne perfon: and this cuftome the menne and the 
women vfe there, & be not afhamed therof The women be very faire 
there. In the time of the greate cane that is pafte, for the greate dif- 
honeftie hee heard of the people of that countrie, and the greate hurte they 
fufteined in their houfes, commaunded them that they fhoulde receiue no 
fbraungers into their houfes, wherewithall the people were fore offended, 
and thinking themfelues not well vfed, fent Embaffadors to the greate 
CANE, requefting him, that he woulde not reftraine them from their 
auntient liberties and cuftomes, that their anticeffors hadde euer vfed, 


and they for their partes woulde continue the fame, otherwife they 
fhoulde be vnthankefuU to their Idolls. After the greate cane hadde 
hearde their Embaffage, aunfwered them, feeyng they had pleafure in 
fuche fhamefuU vfages, and woulde not leaue it, he alfo was contented 
with it. 

Of the prouince Hingnitala, and of the 
Salamandra that is founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xxxvni, xxxix. Pautkier: Bk, i. Chs. Lix, lx. Tule: Bk. i. Chs. xlii, XLin. 

Benedetto: Chs. lx, lxi] 

ilngnitala is a prouince fet between the North and the Eafte, 
and is a long prouince of lixeteene dayes iourney, and is 
fubied to the great cane, and there is manye Cities and 
Townes. There is alfo in that prouince, three linages of 
people, to faye, Idolators that be Chriftians, Neftorians and 
lacobites, and the other Mahomets. At the ende of this 
prouince towardes the North is a greate hill, on the whiche there is 
neither beaftes nor Serpent, and from thence they doe gather that whiche 
is called Salamandra, which is a threede they doe make cloth of. They 
gather it after this manner, they digge a certaine vayne that they doe 
there finde, and afterwardes they beate it in a morter of a fofer, and after- 
warde waftie it, and there remaineth fmall fine threedes faire and cleane, 
and after they haue cafte out that which they doe walhe it withall, they 
fpinne it, and weaue it, and make table clothes and napkins of it, then 
they cafte them into the fire for a certaine time, whereas it waxeth as 
white as fiiowe: and the great cane once in three yeres doth fend for 
fome of them that be made of Salamandra. And they wer wont for to fed 
of thefe napkins, for to hang before the vernacle of oure Lorde lefus Chrift, 
whome the people oiLeuant do take for a great prophet. Departing from 
this prouince, and going between the Northeaft and Eaft, you ftial trauaile 
tenne dayes iourney and come to little habitation, and at the end of the 
tenne dayes iourny, you ftiall find a prouince called Sachur, in it be 
Chriftians and Idolators, fubieds to the great cane. The two prouinces 
beforefaide, to fay, Chamul, and Hingnitala be called Tangutk, with the 
prouince oiSachar. In all the hilles of this prouince is found greate plentie 
of Rewbarbe, and there the Merchauntes do buy it, and carry it to all 
places to fel. There they doe not vfe any occupation, but the mofte parte 
doe Hue by the laboure of the Countrey. 


Of the Gitie called Campion, and of 
many euill vfages there 

CHAPTER 44 [40] 
[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. xl. Pauihier: Bk. i. Ch. lxi. TuU: Bk. i. Ch. xliv. Benedetto: Ch. lxii] 

*Ampion is a greate Citie and fayre, & is the heade of the 
prouince of Tanguth. In this Citie be three fortes of people, 
that is to fay, Chriftians, Idolators, and Mahomets. The 
Chriftias haue three great Churches and faire, and the 
Idolators haue alfo Monafteries, Abbeys, and religious 
houfes, more chafte and comly than the other, and they do 
kil no beaft nor fowle there till the fifth day of the Moone, and in thofe 
fine days they Hue more honeft, deuout, and chaft, than in any other time 
of the yeare. Thefe Idolators may haue thirtie wiues apeece, or more, if 
they be able to maintaine them, but the firfte wife is chiefe, and if anye 
of them doe not contente him, he may put hir away. They do mary in 
kinreds, and liue like beaftes. In this Citie was mapheo Nicholas 
and MARCUS paulus feauen yeres, vfing the trade of merchaundize. 

Of a Citie called Eujina, and of many 
notable things in Tartaria 

CHAPTER .xlj. [41] 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xli, xlii, xuii, xliv (in part). Pauthier: Bk. i. Chs. lxii, lxiii, lxtv (in part). 
Yule: Bk. i. Chs. xlv, xlvi, xlvii (in part). Benedetto: Chs. Lxm, lxiv, lxv (in part)] 

'Eparting from the forefayde Cittie Campion, and trauailing 
twelue dayes iorney, you fhall come to a Citie called Eujina, 
the whyche is in a fielde of the Defert called Sabon, toward 
the North, and is of the prouince Tanguth. In this Citie they 
bee al Idolators, and haue great abundaunce of Camels and 
other cattell withall: they gette their lining by labouring 
the ground. In this Citie thofe that do trauaile, do prouide them of 
vidualles, and other neceffaries, for fortie dayes ioumey, whyche they 
muft pafTe through a great Defert, wheras be no towns nor houfes, nor 
graffe, but in the mountaines about dwel people, and alfo in the valleys 
beneath the Defert. There be many Afles and other wild beafts of the 
mountaines, and greate Pine apple trees. At the ende of this Deferte there 


is a Citie called Cailogorta, whiche is towarde the North, and of this Gitie 
was the firft Prince or Lorde among the tartars, and his name was 
Catlogoria. The tartars dwel towards the North, wheras is but few- 
cities & Townes, but true it is, there be fayre piaynes, paftures, riuers, 
and very good waters. There dwell tartars that haue no King nor 
Lorde, they doe goueme themfelues in common, and do pay tribute to 
PRESTER lOHN. It fortuncd, that thefe tartars multiplyed to fo 
greate a number, that prester iohn did feare, that they woulde rife 
againft him, therefore he determined with himfelfe to fende certaine 
Lordes of his that fhoulde be among them to keepe them afunder, and 
alfo to keepe the countrey in good order, and to banifhe or diminilhe 
parte of them, bycaufe they Ihould not be of fo greate a power. And the 
tartars perceyuyng thys, ioyned themfelues togither, and tooke coun- 
cell, determined to leaue that countrey, and to goe and dwell vpon the 
mountaines and in the deferts, by meanes whereof from that time for- 
warde they ftoode in no feare of prester iohn, nor woulde pay him 
tribute. And at the end of certaine yeares, that they were not vnder the 
obedience of prester iohn, they did eled: and choofe among them- 
felues a King whiche they called chenghis, a vahaunt and wife man: 
and this was in the yeare of oure Lorde God .11 87. and crowned him for 
King of the tartars aforefaide. And all the tartars that were in 
Perjia, and other Gountreys thereaboutes, came to him, and put them- 
felues vnder his gouernement, and obeyed him as their King, and he 
receiued them very friendly, gouerning them iuftely and difcreetely. And 
after that chenghis was confirmed, and had the whole gouernment, 
within a fliort time he made war, and in Ihorte time conquered eighte 
Kingdomes or Prouinces, and when he hadde gotten anye Prouince or 
Gitie, he did iniurie to no man, but lette them remaine wyth their goods, 
fauing to thofe that were able and fitte menne for him, them he tooke 
with him into the warres, and by this meanes he was welbeloued, and all 
men. were content to goe with him. 




Prefter lohn 

Jlaine in 

battel by 


King of the 


Thefirjl Em- 

perouT of the 

Tartars called 

Great Cane. 

In this 


Alchay, be 

al the gret 

Canes buryed. 

Of the beginning of the raigne of the Tartars, and of 
many maruellous and ftraunge thinges 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. XLiv (in part), xlv, xlvi. Pauthier: Bk. 1. Chs. Lxrv (in part), lxv, lxvii 
(in part), Lxviii. Yule : Bk. i. Chs. xlvii (in part) , XLVin, l (in part) , li, ui. Benedetto : Chs. lxv 
(in part), lxvi, lxviii (in part), Lxix] 

»HENCHis perceyuyng himfelfe to be of fuche power, minding 
to ioyne himfelfe in kindred or ftocke with prester iohn, 
ifente to him his Embaffadoures, requiring his daughter in 
marriage : and this was in the yeare of oure Lord God .i 190. 
PRESTER iohn difdained that Embaffage and aunfwered, 
that he maruailed muche that chenchis being his Sub- 
iede Ihoulde prefume to demaunde his Lordes daughter to be his wife, 
faying he woulde rather kil hir: fo the matter remayned thus, chenchis 
hearing this aunfwere ofpRESTER iohn, was fore troubled and vexed 
in minde againfte hym, and incontinent fent him defiaunce, faying, he 
woulde warre vppon him, and of this prester iohn made fmall reckning 
faying, that the tartars were but flaues, and not menne of warre, not- 
withftanding he made himfelfe in a readineffe, and came vpon chenchis, 
who had alfo made himfelfe in a readineffe, and came oute againfte him 
and encountred togither in a great plaine called Tanguth, where it was 
appointed the battaile fhoulde be of both parties, & thus ioyned togither 
in a fierce & log battel, for both parts was ftrong, but in the end, prester 
iohn being flaine, and many of both parts, the field remayned to 
chenchis, who conquered all the prouince. Cities, and townes of 
prester iohn, and raigned after his death fixe yeares, and at the end 
of fixe yeares, laying fiege to a Gaftell, was hurte in the knee with an 
arrowe, and of that wounde dyed. After the death of this chenchis, 
was made Lord of the tartars one called cane, and this was the 
firfte that was called Emperoure and Create cane. And after hym 
raigned bathe cane, and the fourth was called chenchis cane, & 
the fifth was cublay cane, which raigneth nowe. This cublay cane 
is the greateft and of moft power of anye of al his predeflbrs, for among 
the Chriftians and Heathen, there is not a greater Prince than he is, nor 
of fo great a power, and that Ihall you cleerely perceyue hereafter, by 
that which foUoweth. All the canes, fucceffors of the firft chenchis, 
were buryed in a mountaine called Alchay, and there dwelled the greate 
cane. Ajid when the greate cane dyeth, they cary hym to be buryed 


there. Thofe that do cary him, or go with him, kill as manye as they 
meete withall in the waye or ftreete, and when they kill them, they faye : 
Go, and feme our Lorde in the other worlde, & they beleeue certainely, 
that they go, and doe him feruice. And likewife by this reafon, when the 
greate cane dieth, they kill all his Camels, Horfes, and Moyles, beleeuing 
that they fed them to ferue their Lord in the other worlde. When m on guy 
CANE Lorde of the tartars dyed, there was flaine .300000. men that 
they encountred in the way, by thofe that wente wyth hym to hys buriall 
to the faide mountaine. 

^ The habitation of the tartars in the Winter, is in the plaine fieldes, 
where it is warme, and good gralfe and pafture for their Cattell, and in 
the Sommer in the mountaines and wooddes, where it is frefhe and 
pleafaunt aire : and they make rounde houfes of tymber, and couer them 
with feltes, and thefe houfes they carry with them at all times when they 
do remoue: and alwayes they fette their doore in the Sommer time to- 
wards the South, and in the Winter towardes the North. Thefe Tartars 
haue theyr cartes or Wagons couered with blacke feltes, that neuer any 
water can palfe through, and in thefe Cartes or Wagons go their wiues, 
children, and family, and their Cammels do drawe thefe Wagons. The 
Tartars wiues doe buy and fell al manner of things belonging to houfe- 
holde, or any thing needefull : their hulbands take no care for it, but onely 
in hawking, hunting, and going on warrefare. They do eate all manner of 
flefhe, and drinke milke of all kinde of beaftes and mares. The Tartars 
maye take as manye wiues as they will, and maye marry with anye of 
their kinred, excepting no degree : but their firfte wife is the chiefeft, and 
is mofte made of: the women doe gyue their dowries to their hufbandes. 
There is none of them will haue conuerfation with an other mannes wife. 
And when the father dyeth, his eldeft fonne doeth marry wyth his mother 
in lawe, and when the fonne dyeth, his brother marryeth with hys filler 
in lawe, and for the time do keep great folemnitie and feaftes at the 



The Tartares 

doe make them 

Idols offeltes, 

and other 

The Nobilitie 
& Gentlemen 
go in cloth of 
gold andfilke, 
furred with 

Of the cuflome, orders, faith and honoring the great 
CANE, and howe he goeth to the warres 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Chs. xlvii, XLvm (in part), xlix (in part). Paufhier: Bk, i. Ch. ixa. (in part). 
Tule: Bk. i. Chs. Liii, liv, lv (in part). Benedetto: Ch. lxx (in part)] 

ssjsas^He Create cane Emperour of the Tartars, doth worfhippe 
for his God, an Idoll called nochygay, and they faye and 
beleeue, that he is the eternall God, that taketh care to pre- 
ferue hym, hys wiues, children, famihe, cattell, and come, 
and hathe him in great reuerence, and euery one hath the 
figure of that Idoll in his houfe. And this Idoll is made of 
feltes, or of other cloth, and of the fame felte or cloth they doe make 
wiues and children for their Idols, and the women be fette on the lefte 
fide of the Idols, and the children before them. When they thinke it 
dinner tyme, then they doe annoynte the mouthes and lippes of theyr 
Idols, and wiues and children, with the fatte of the fodden flefh, and do 
poure out the broath vpon the floore, faying, that theyr Idols, their wiues, 
and children doe fill themfelues with it, and they do eate the fodden flefh, 
and their drinke is the miike of Mares trimmed with fpices, that it is like 
white wine, and it is very good, and is called with them Cheminis. The 
Lordes and men of power and riches, goe apparelled in cloth of golde, and 
cloth of filke, furred with riche furres. Their harneffe is the Hydes of 
Buffe, or other thicke and ftrong Skynnes. The tartares be vahant men 
of armes, and ftrong to abyde any trauell or laboure, and can well fuffer 
hunger and thirft, for in the warres they be many times one moneth, and 
eate nothing, but of wylde beaftes they doe kill in the field, and drinke 
Mares Milke. When they be in the field day and night they be on Horfe- 
backe, and the bridle in their hands they giue the Horfes meate. When 
their King fetteth forward with his hoft, before and on euery fide of him 
they do fet foure battels of the beft and moft valiant men, for bycaufe 
their King Ihoulde not bee put in feare. And when he goeth a warrefare 
a farre off, he caryeth nothing with hym but hys armoure, and a thing 
to couer him when it doth rayne, and two flaggons with Milke for to 
drinke, and a Potte to feeth his meate in when neede is. In a tyme of 
neede hee will ride tenne days iourney, without eating any fodden meate. 
For his drinke, they will carrie Milke made like dry pafte, and when hee 
is difpofed to drinke, he will take a litde of that pafte, and dilfolue it in 



fayre water, and fo drinke it : and when thys fhall fayle hym, and that he 
can gette no other drinke, hee letteth hys Horfe bloud, and drinketh of 
it. When the tart ares wyll Ikyrmifhe wyth theyr enimies, they hyde 
their Sallets fecretely, and as they doe beginne to fkyrmifhe, ftreightway 
they fhewe as though they woulde runne away, and that they were ouer- 
come of theyr enimies, and thus fleeing, putte on theyr Sallets, and 
ftreyght way they returne valiantly vpon their enimies, and by this meanes 
commonly they doe breake the array of theyr enimies. The tartares 
haue thys cuftome, that if one of theyr fonnes dye being yong, and alfo 
of another man his daughter, after they be dead, they marrie them, 
faying, they fhall be maried in the other worlde. And of thys Matrimonie 
they doe make a publike writing, and this writing they burne, faying to 
the dead, that as the fmoke thereof afcendeth on high, fo doe they fende 
them that writing, declaring theyr mariage. And at fuche mariages they 
make great feafting and folemnitie, and do feeth muche viduals, and 
poure out the broath vppon the floore, faying, that thofe which be dead 
in this world, and maried in the other, do eate of the viduals prepared for 
the wedding. And befides all this, they caufe to be painted the figure of 
the fonne and daughter, vppon the backfide of the forefayde writing, and 
withall the pidures of manye Camels, and other diuers beafts, and apparell 
and money, and many other things, faying, that as that writing dothe 
burne, all thofe things therein goe ftraight way to their chyldren, after the 
fmoke as aforefayde, and the fathers and mothers of thefe children that 
dyed, doe take hands togither, and be alwayes after friendes, and Grand- 
fathers and Grandmothers, and Coufens, euen as though they had bin 
maried aliue. 

The Tartares 
going a WOT' 
fare, carrie 
with them a 
thing made in 
pajle of Mares 
milke and 
other com- 
pounds, and 
his drinke. 
When any of 
the Tartares 
fonnes dye, 
and alfo a 
daughter of 
another, then 
they do marrie 
thefe two to- 
gither, faying, 
they fhall be 
fo in the other 

Of a plaine called Barga, and of the cuftoms of 
the people of that Countrey 

chapter 44 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. L. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. Lxx. Tide: Bk. i. Ch. Lvi. Benedetto: Ch, Lxxi] 

Eparting from the Citie called Cuthogora, aforefade, and the 
mountaine called Acay^ where they bury theyr Kings of the 
Tartars, whiche is the greate cane, you fhall trauell 
through a great plaine called the plaine of Barga, fortie 
dayes iorney towards the North. The people of that country 
be called me grit h. They be fauage people, and doe lyue 


the mofle parte by killyng of redde Deare called Stagges, and other wilde 
beaftes, and doe ride and trauaile vppon harts or flagges, as they doe in 
other places vppon horfes. They haue neyther breade nor wine, and be 
fubiedes to the greate cane. 

Of the greate Sea called the Occean 


[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. l (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. t. Ch. lxx (cont.). Tule: Bk. i. Ch. lvi (cont.). 

Benedetto: Ch. Lxxi (cont.)] 

Fter you haue trauailed fortie daies iorney, you fhal come 
to a greate Sea called the Occean Sea, and alfo greate 
mountaynes, in the which you fhal haue goodly Hawkes 
greate plentie, and fpeciall good, called peregrinos. And 
in the Ilandes of the Sea breedeth great plentie of Gerfalcons. 
In this Sea be two great Ilandes, whiche fhall be fpoke of 
hereafter, and lye towardes the North, and haue the Sea out of the South. 

The voice of 



Of the Kingdome Erguyl, and of many other Kingdomes, 

and of Mufke, and other fweete and pleafaunte thinges 

that be there founde, and many other things 

chapter 46 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. li. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lxxi. Tide: Bk. i. Ch. lvii. Benedetto: Ch. lxxii] 

Haue declared vnto you of the prouinces of the North, till 
you come to the mountaines, and the Occean Sea : and now 
I will compte to you of the other prouinces belonging to f 
great cane, til you come to his country, returning to the 
country called Campion, where you ftial paffe .5. days iorny 
in length, in the which many times you fhal hear the voices 
of euil fpirits. At f end of thefe hue days iorny towards y Eaft, there is 
a kingdom called Erguil, of y prouince of Tanguth, fubied to the greate 
CANE, and in this prouince there Hue three forts of people, that is to fay, 
Chriftians that be Neftorians, and Idolators and Mahomets : and there be 
many Cities and Townes, but the principall Citie is called Erguyl. From 
this Citie trauelling Eaft Southeaft, you fhall come to a Countrie whiche 
is a greate prouince, in the whiche there is a great Citie called Syrygay, 



that hath neare vnto it many Cities and Townes, ail fubied to the greate 
CANE, and there be in it Chriftians, Idolaters, and Mahomets. There be 
wild Oxen as bigge as Elephants, very faire beafts to fee, white and blacke, 
al couered with haire, fauing a fpanne long vpon the necke, whyche is 
called Del EJpinazo, whiche is bare, and hath no haire, and many of thefe 
Oxen they do make tame, and doe laboure and till the grounde with 
them. They will carrye greate waighte, by reafon they be fo great bodyed. 
There is the beft Mulke in the worlde. The Beaft that they haue it off, is 
bodyed like a Catte, with foure teeth, two aboue, and two beneath, of 
three fingers long, they be flender of body, and haue heare like a redde 
Deere, and feete lyke a Catte, and they haue a thing like a pofhe, or bagge 
of bloud, gathered togither neere to their nauell, betweene the fkinne and 
the flefhe, whiche they cutte and take away, and that is the Mulke : and 
there be many of thofe Beaftes there. The people of that Countrey do liue 
by their occupations and trade of Merchandife, and haue good plenty of 
come. This Countrey is long, of .25. days iourney. There be plenty of 
Feyfants, and very greate, for one of them is as bigge as two of oures, 
with tayles of eyght, nine, and tenne fpannes long. The people of that 
Countrey be fatte, and of lowe browes, and blacke beared, and haue no 
beardes, but a fewe heares about the mouth. The women be faire and 
white, and well bodyed. The people of that Countrey bee gyuen muche 
to the pleafure of the body, for a riche man to obteyne the fauoure of a 
woman, wyll gyue hir a ioynter. They bee all Idolaters. 

greate Oxen 
as bigge as 

Heere is the 
bejl Mujke JB 
the world. 


I think thefe 
be Peacocks. 

Of the Citie called Calacia, and of many 
things they do make there 

[A/arj</CT: Bk. I. Ch. Lii. Pauthier: Bk.i.Ch.ixxii. 2We: Bk. i. Ch. Lvni. Benedetto: Ch. uxsan] 

Eparting fi*om Erguill, and trauelling towardes the Eaft eyght 
dayes iourney, you fhall come to a Prouince called Egregia, 
that hathe vnder it many Cities, and is of the Prouince of 
Tanguthe, and the principall Citie of it is called Chalacia, and is 
fubiede to the greate cane, in the which be three Churches 
of Chriftians Neftorians, and all the reft be Idolaters. There 
they make excellent good Chamlets of Camels heare of white wooll, and 
from thence Merchantes carrie them to fell into other Countreys. 

Heere be 



Heere is 

founde the 

Jlone called 

Lapis laguli, 


they do make 

ajyne blewe. 

Heere was 

the imperiall 

feate of 

Prefter lohn. 

Of the Prouince called Tanguthe which is fubied to 

PRESTER lOHN, and of a ftone called Lapis laguli, 

that is there found, and of Gog and Magog 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. Liii. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lxxiii. Ytde: Bk. i. Ch. lix. Benedetto: Ch. Lxxrv] 

Eparting from Arguill, and entring into the Kingdomes of 
PRESTER lOHN, you ftiall come to a Prouince called 
Tanguthe, which is vnder a King of the lignage ofpRESTER 
lOHN, whiche is called george by his proper name, and 
he holdeth that Countrey of the great cane, efpecially 
thofe that were taken ofpRESTERiOHN. And the greate 
CANE dothe alwayes take the chiefeft daughters of this Kyng commonly, 
fmce that chenchis the firft King of the tartares flewe prester 
lOHN in battel], as before is declared. In this Countrey is found Lapis 
laguli, whiche is a ftone, that maketh a fine blew. The moft part of this 
prouince be Chriftians, and they be gouemoures, and chiefe of the 
Countrey. There be alfo Mahomets, whiche doe Hue by Cattell, and 
labouring of y ground. In this Prouince be another kind of people called 
Argarones, or Galmulos, this they do fay, for bicaufe they do defced of two 
feueral nations, y is to fay, of y chriftias of Taguthe, & the Mahomets. 
They be faire me, wife and difcret more than the others of y countrey. 
In this prouince was y imperiall chayre or feate of prester iohn, when 
he raygned ouer the tartars: and yet there doe raygne in that prouince, 
of the ftocke of prester iohn, of whome came this george King of 
thys prouince. Here is that place that the holye Scripture fpeaketh of, called 
Gog and Magog. 

Of the Citie Sindathoy in Cataya, 
where filuer is founde 

chapter 49 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. liv. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lxxiii (cont.). 
Benedetto: Ch. lxxtv (cont.)] 

Yule: Bk. i. Ch. lix (cont.). 

Auing paffed feauen dayes iorney in thys prouince towards 
the Eaft, you fhal come to Cataya, a broade Countrey, in the 
which there be many Chriftians, and many Idolators, and 
many of the fed of mahomet, and they be al handi-crafts 
men and Merchauntes. There they make great plentie of 
cloth of gold, and alfo of cloth of filke verye fine. In this 


prouince is a Citie of the greate canes called Sindathqy, where they doe 
worke and make all manner and kinde of armour for the wars, and in the 
mountaines of this prouince be vaines of fine filuer, and plentie, called 
there Idica. 

Of a Citie called Giannorum, and of 
many nouelties 


[Marsden: Bk. l. Ch. Lv. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. lxxiii (cont.). Ttde: Bk. i. Ch. lx. 
Benedetto: Ch. lxxiv (cont.)] 

jArting from this Citie, and trauelling .iij. dayes iorny, you 
fhall come to a Citie called Gianorum, in the which there is a 
meruellous goodly Pallace of the great canes to lodge him 
and his Court when he commeth to that Citie, and in this 
Citie he is defirous to be with good will, for bycaufe that 
neare vnto it is a good countrey, in the which be great plentie 
of wyld Geefe, and Duckes, and of Cranes, of hue fortes or manners : the Here be 
firft be great and aU blacke like Crowes: the fecond all whyte, fauing the fj^To/^"' 
heades 3iat be all red : the thirde al black, fauing the heade is white and colours. 
Ihyning : f fourth greene, with blacke heads : they be farre bigger than 
ours : the fifth be little with all their feathers redde. Neare vnto this Citie 
is a great valley, where the great cane hath many wilde beaftes, great 
and fmal, and among the great plentie of Partridges, to ferue for his 
prouifion, when hee goeth into that Countrey. 

Of a maruellous Citie called Liander, and of many 

maruellous and faire things they haue there 

chapter 51 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Cb. LVi. Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. Lxxiv. Tule: Bk. i. Ch. lxi. Benedetto: Ch. lxxv] 

'Eparting three dayes iourney from this Citie, between the 
Northeaft and f North you fhall come to a Citie called 
Liander, which cublay cane buylded. In this Citie is a 
maruellous goodlye Pallace made of Marble and flint ftones, 
called pedras viuas, al gilded wyth gold, and neare to this 
Pallace, is a wall which is in compaffe fifteene miles, and JJfy[^jff 
within this wall be faire riuers, Wels, and greene Meadowes, where the gUded. 




Herey Em- 
peror hath 
great Jlore of 
Haukes of 
all fortes. 

Herey Cane 

doth make 

facrifice with 

milke to his 


Aly Mares 

the great 

Cane do ride 

on, be-white. 

great cane hath plentie of all kinde of wilde foule and beaftes, for to 
finde his Hawkes, called Faulcons, and Gerfaulcons, that bee there in 
mew, which be at fometimes more than .40000. ^ which many times he 
goeth thyther to fee. Whe he doth ride in thefe Meadowes, he carrieth 
behinde him on the buttockes of his horfe, a ruffet or graye Lyon tame, 
and fetteth him to the ftagges, or redde Deere, and to other wylde beaftes, 
and vppon thefe beaftes do the Gerfaulcons and Faulcons feafon. In the 
middeft of thefe Meddowes is a great houfe, where the great cane doth 
refort to dinner, and to banquet, and to take his refte and pleafure in, 
when he goeth that waye. And this houfe is compaffed about with greate 
Canes, that be gilded and couered with Canes that be varniftied, and 
clofed all in one, in fuch fort, that no water can pafle through it. Euerye 
Cane is at the lea ft three fpannes compafle, and from tenne to fifteen 
paces long. And this houfe is fo made, that at al times they maye take it 
downe and fet it vp againe, vpon a fodayne. It is tyed with aboue .200. 
cordes of filke, after the manner of tentes, or pauilions. And the greate 
CANE repayreth thither for his pleafure, in lune, luly, and Auguft, and 
there by commaundement of his Prophets, Idolaters maketh facrifice 
with milke to his Idols, for to preferue and keepe his wiues, and fonnes, 
and daughters, and his fubiedes, and feruauntes, and cattell, and foules, 
corne, vines, fruite, and all other things in his countries. All the Mares 
that the great cane rideth on, be as white as milke. Among the which, 
he hath alwayes ten Mares that no body doth drinke of their milke, but 
onlye he and fome greate men of his Courte, and fome others that bee 
called honourable and noble, bycaufe of a vidorie had againft the enemies 
of chenchis the firft king of the tartars. 


belief e y gt eat 

Cane hath. 

Of the facrifice and other maners, of 
the life of the greate cane 

chapter 52 

[Marsden: Bk. i. Ch. Lvi (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. i. Ch. Lxxiv (cont.). 

Benedetto: Ch. Lxxv (cont.)] 

2'ule: Bk. i. Ch. lxi (cont.). 

Hen the great cane will make facrifice, he poureth out the 
Mares milke vpon the ground, and in the ayre, and the 
Prophets of his gods fay, that milke poured out, is the holye 
Ghofte, of the which all the Idols be ful, and do beleeue, 
that this facrifice is the caufe of his confirmation, and of his 
fubieds, & of al his other things. And this facrifice he doth 



euery yere f .29. day of Auguft. And to thofe white horfes and Mares 
wherefoeuer they do go, they do great reuerence. This greate cane hath 
in his Court certaine Negromanciers, whiche by arte of the Diuel, when 
it is foule & troublefome weather, it fhal be fayre and cleare weather in 
his Pallace. And do gyue to vnderftande to the people, that the clearneffe 
is ouer the Pallace where the great cane is, only for his deferts and holy 
life, and by vertue of his Idols. When anye one is iudged to dye, as foone 
as he is deade they feeth him, and eate him, but thofe that dye by natural 
death, be meat for their Idols. 

^ And befides thys, when the great cane is at hys table, thefe inchaunters 
doe worke by arte of the Diuel, that Cuppes doe rife from the table tenne 
Cubits into the ayre, and do fet themfelues down again, and whe they 
wyll doe this, they demaunde of the greate cane a blacke fheepe, and 
the wood of Alloe and Incenfe, & other fweete fpyces, wherof there is great 
plenty, bicaufe their facrifice fhould feeme the more fweeter, and he com- 
maundeth to be deliuered to them, what they will haue, for bycaufe they 
beleeue that their Idols doe preferue and keepe him and all his companie. 
Thefe Prophets and Prieftes, do caufe the flefh to be fodden with fpices in 
prefence of their Idols, & do put incenfe therin, and poure the broth into 
the ayre, & they fay the Idol taketh of it what pleafeth him : and thys 
they do with gret fmging. Euery Idol hath his name, and to euery one 
they do this worfhip on their dayes, as we do on our faints dayes. They 
haue many Monafteries deputed to the names of their Idols. There is in 
that countrey one Monafterie as big as a good Citie, in the which there 
be .400. Monkes that goe honeftly appaielled, and their beardes and heads 
fhauen. Vpon their feafte dayes they kepe great folemnity, with fmging, 
and prayfing, and lights, and fome of thefe rehgious men haue many 
wiues, and fome of them Hue chafte : the chaft do eate the branne and the 
meale kneaded togither, with a little hote water, and do faft oftentimes in 
reuerence of their Idols, and do weare garments made of Canuas died 
blacke or blewe, & fome white, and do lye in Almadraques, fharpe and 
harde beds, and the other religious that be maried, they go well ap- 
parelled, and do eate and drinke wel, and doe faye that thofe which Hue 
the ftreight Hfe be Heretickes and fooles, bycaufe they do punilh their 
bodies, by meanes whereof they cannot honor their Idols as they ought 
to do, and as reafon is. All the Idols of thefe married religious men, they 
do name by the name of women, bycaufe they be fuch leacherous people. 

Here his 
enckaunters do 
worke by the 

A great 
of Monkes. 



Three hun- 
dred thou/and 
fighting men. 

Of a vidorie the great cane had 


[Marsden: Bk. ii. Ch. i. Sects, i, ii (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. lxxv-lxxix (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. n. Chs. i-v (abridged). Benedetto: Chs. lxxvi-lxxx (abridged)] 

»Ere, for your better information, I wyll declare vnto you of 
a vidory the gret cane had, wherby you fhal the better 
vnderftand and know of his ftrength and power. It was 
he that now raigneth, which was called cublay cane, 
whiche is as muche to faye, as Lorde of Lordes. You fhall 
vnderflande that this cublay cane defcended hneally of 
the imperiall ftocke, from chenchis cane, from whence he muft de- 
fcende, that Ihall be Lorde of the tartares: and this cublay cane, 
beganne his raigne in the yere of our Lord God .1256. And as chenchis 
cane by his prouidence and wifedome, made hinifelfe the firfte Lord of 
the TARTARES, as is before declared, fo likewife this for his wifdome and 
prouidence, contrarie to the good will of his kinred, that would haue put 
him out of it, did fo coferue and gouerne his Dominions and Countries, 
til the yeare of our Lord God . 1 298. fo that he raigned two and fortie 
yeares, and was fiue and forty yeares old when he was made Emperor, 
and euerye yeare hadde warres, for he was valiant and expert in the 
warres, but he himfelfe after he was made Emperour, neuer went to the 
warres but one time, but alwayes fent his fonnes, or fome noble men, 
whom he thought beft. And the caufe wherefore hee went at that time 
in perfon, was this. In the yeare of our Lord God .1286. a nephew of his, 
of the age of thirtie yeares Lord of many prouinces. Cities, and townes, 
perceyuing himfelfe to be fubiede to the greate cane, as his predeceffors 
had ben, determined in himfelf not to be fubied to anye, and concorded 
with another kinfeman of the great canes, whyche was called cardin, 
whyche mighte well make .100000. Horfemen, and was mortall enimie 
to the greate cane hys vncle, and did moue warre both of them with 
theyr hoftes agaynfte the great cane, and hee hauyng knowledge thereof, 
dyd not feare, for hee was a Prince of maruellous greate power: but 
incontinent he called hys people togither for to go againft hys enimies, 
and toke an oth, that the crowne fhoulde neuer come on his head, till 
that he had cruelly reuenged hymfelfe on them as Traytors and Rebels, 
fo that within two and twenty days, he had ioyned particularly a great 
hofi: of three hundred thoufand fighting men, of horfemen and footemen, 
and woulde ioyne no greater an hoft, nor haue it publilhed abrode, that 


his enimies fhoulde haue knowledge of it, and alfo for that he had many 

of his men of wane abroade in other places on warfare, and coulde not 

bring them togither in fo fhort a time. But you fhall vnderftande that 

when the greate cane will make his power, and take time to doe it, he 

may ioyne fo greate a number, that it were a greate trouble to number 

them. Thefe three hundred thoufande of fighting men, be not all menne 

of experience, for there were aboue foure thoufande Falconers, and 

Seruants, and Courtiers that attended vppon the Kings perfon, and 

ferued in his Courts. But thus hauing his hofls ioyned, he commanded to 

be called before him his Aftrologers, and would know of them in what 

fort and time he fhoulde fet forward on this enterprife, and they anfwered 

him that the time was good, and that he fhoulde haue vidorie ouer his 

enimies, and To incontinent fet forwarde on his way with his people, and 

came to a playne, where as was nauia with .200000. men tarrying there 

the comming of caydu with another hundred thoufand of horfemen, 

for to fet on the Countreys of the great cane. The Lordes of the great 

cane had befet all the wayes, and taken all the ftreytes, that neither 

fuccoure fhoulde come, nor his enimies flee, bycaufe he would take them 

all prifoners. nauia knowing nothing of this, or that the great cane had 

prepared himfelfe for any warre, for the greate cane had before befet all 

the wayes and paflages, that no ma could palfe to carrie any newes to Thepoiudeof 

NAUIA, and by this meanes, not thinking nor ftading in any doubt, ' '^"^^^ ^^^' 

thought he might well take his reft that nighte, and all his people : but 

the greate cane was ftirring in the morning betimes with all his hoftes, 

and did fette his Campe hard by the place where as nauia had his, and 

founde them all vnarmed, and vnprouided, not thinking any thing of it, 

and perceyuing it, he was in greate feare. And the great cane had made 

a great frame vpon an Elephant, wherin his ftanderdes were caried, and 

before and behinde, and by the fides went his battels of Horfemen and 

footemen, that is to fay .25000. in a battell. And with thefe battels be 

fette all the hoft of nauia round, and when nauia fa we thys, he lept 

on horfebacke, and caufed his trumpets to blowe, and fet his armie in as 

good order as he could, and fo ioyned battell, whereas was a great and 

ftrong fighte, and continued from morning till nighte, and greate number 

flayne on both parties, but at the end nauia and his company were not 

able any longer to withftande the furie of the greate canes armed men, 

and beganne to flee, in fuch fort, that nauia was taken prifoner, and his 

people not being able to doe anye good, fubmitted themfelues to the great 

cane: and nauia being prefented aliue to the great cane, he caufed 

him to be bounde vp in a Carpet, and fo long hee vfed him to bee caried, 

A Jlrange kind 
of death to 
his coufin. 


that hee dyed, and thys deathe hee gaue hym, for that hee woulde not 
haue the bloud of nauia beeing of his kindred, fall to the grounde, nor 
that the ayre fhoulde fee hym dye an euill deathe. After that nauia was 
deade, all his Lordes and other prifoners became fvvorne to the great 
CANE, to be obediet to him. Thefe foure prouinces were vnder the obedience 
of NAUIA, that is to fay, Furciorcia, Guli, Bajlon, Scincinguy. 
^ Now that I haue fhewed you of the great cane, ho we he pafte with 
NAUIA, I will alfo declare vnto you, of hys manner, condition, and perfon, 
and of his wiues and children, and of other things. 

The great 

Cane hath 

foure wiues 

and they kepe 

great Courts. 

The great 
Cane hath 
many Concu- 

The greate 

Cane had by 

his foure 

wiues two 

arul twenty 

fonnes, after 

his eldejtfon 

dyed, who 

fhould haue 

bin King. 


was hey re, 

and kept a 

great Court. 

Of the perfonage of the great cane, 
and of his wiues and children 


[Marsden: Bk. 11. Chs. iv, v. Pauthier: Bk. 11. Chs. lxxxi, lxxxii. Tule: Bk. n. Chs. viii, ix. 
Benedetto: Chs. lxxxii, Lxxxni] 

He great cane that was called cubla canE; was a manne 
of a middle ftature, well flefhte, and of good complexion, 
and wel proportioned in al his mebers, well coloured of 
face, his eyes black, his nofe well made: he hath four that 
be his Legitimate wiues, and his eldefl fonne, that he hath 
by his firft wife, doth kepe Court by himfelfe, and euerye 
one of thefe foure Queenes, haue in their Courtes .300. wayting women, 
and many maydens, with alfo many me and women, that do feruice in 
the Courtes : for euery one of thefe foure Queenes haue in their Courtes 
more than .4000. perfons, of men, women, maydens, and feruaunts. Alfo 
the greate cane hath many Concubines of tartars, which be called 
Origiathe and be of a good and honefl behauiour, and of thefe the greate 
cane hath a hundreth maydens chofen out for himfelfe, which be in a 
pallace by thefelues, and haue auntient women to keepe them. And of 
thefe hundreth, euery three dayes fixe of them doe ferue and attend vpon 
the great cane in his Chamber, and the three dayes being paft, they doe 
returne to their Pallace agayne, and other fixe come for to keepe the 
great canes Chamber. And thus they do remoue from three dayes to 
three dayes. The fayd great cane had by his fayd wiues two and twentie 
Sonnes, the eldefl of them is called chinchis, in remembrance of the 
firfl King ofTARTARES, and alfo to renue that name, this firfte fonne is 
called chinchis cane, and fhoulde haue fucceeded his father in the 


Kingdome, but bycaufe he dyed before his father, his eldeft fonne called 
THEMUR CANE, and this his fonnes fonne, bycaufe he fhould raigne after 
him, kepte a greate Court by himfelfe. 

Of a greate Citie called Cambalu, and of all the goodly 
and maruellous. things that be done there 


[Marsden: Bk. 11, Chs. vi-xiii (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. lxxxiii-lxxxix (abridged). 
Yule: Bk. n. Chs. x-xvii (abridged). Benedetto: Chs. lxxxtv-xci (abridged)] 

Ow I will declare vnto you of the worthy and noble Citie 
called Cambalu, the whiche is in the prouince of Cathaya. 
This Citie is foure and twenty myles compaffe, and is foure- 
fquare, that is, to euery quarter fixe miles compaffe. The 
' wall is very flrong, of twenty paces high, and battlements 
of three paces high. The wall is fiue paces thicke. This Citie 
hathe twelue gates, and at euery gate is a very faire pallace. And vpon 
the toppe of euery corner of the faid wal is alfo a faire pallace, and in all 
thefe pallaces ioyning to the wall be many people appoynted for to watch 
and keepe the Citie. And in thofe pallaces be all maner of armour and 
weapons for the defence and ftrength of the Citie. The flreetes of this Citie 
be fo faire and ftreight, that you may fee a Candle or fire from the one 
ende to the other. In this Citie be manye fayre Pallaces and houfes. And 
in the middefl: of it is a notable greate and faire Pallace, in the whiche 
there is a great Toure, wherein there is a greate Bell, and after that Bell 
is tolled three times, no body may goe abroade in the Citie, but the 
watchmen that be appoynted for to keepe the Citie, and the nurfes that 
doe keepe children newly borne, and Phifitions that goe to vifit the ficke, 
and thefe may not go without light. At euery gate nightlye there is a 
thoufand men to watch, not for feare of any enimies, but to auoyde 
theeues and robbers in the Citie, which many times do chance in the 
Citie. And this great watche the greate cane doth caufe, to conferueand 
keepe his people and fubieds, that no man fhould do them hurt. Without 
this Citie be twelue fuburbes very greate, and euery one of the anfwereth 
to his gate of ^ Citie. And in thefe be many Merchantes and men of 
occupations: and thyther do refort all people that come out of the 
Countreys, and fuch Lordes as haue to Ho with the King or his Courtes. 
And in thefe fuburbes be moe than twentye thoufande fingle or common 

This is a 
goodly Citie, 
and well 

At euery gale 
is a tkoujand 
men that do 

No common 

woman may 

dwell within 

the Citie. 

About a 


Cartes with 

Jilke goeth 

euery daye 

out of this 


The greate 

Cane is 

garded nightly, 

with twentye 



The manner 

of the greate 

Cane at hys 

dirmer with 

his iviues 

and children. 


foure thoufand 

terfons dofitte 

tn that Hall at 

a dinner. 

A vejjell of 

Jim gold that 

will holde 

tenne Hogf- 

fuads of Wine, 

and four of 

filuer bigger 

than that. 

Euery one 

thatjitteth at 

the tables, hath 

a cuppe of 

gold before 


Euer^ one 

that bnngeth 

meate or 

drinke to the 

Table, hath 

a towell of 

Bolde and 

Juke before 

his mouth. 

Great feajl is 

made euerie 

yeare, the day 

when, the great 

Cane was 



women, and neuer a one of them maye dwell within the Citie on payne of 
burning. Out of this Citie goeth euery daye aboue a thoufande Cartes 
with filke. The great cane is garded euery night with twentie thoufande 
Gentlemen on Horfebacke, not for any feare, but for dignitie. They be 
called Chijitanos, which is as much to fay, as Knightes for the body, or 
truftie Knights. The manner of the great cane for his dinner, is this: 
They make ready all the Tables rounde about the Hall, and in the middeft 
of the Hall, is made ready the Table for the greate cane, fetting his backe 
towardes the North, and his face towardes the South. His firfte wife 
fitteth next vnto him on hys lefte hande, and his other wiues following 
orderly. On his other fide do fitte his fonnes, and his fonnes children, one 
after another, according to his age. Thofe that be of the imperiall lignage, 
do fitte downe afterward at another table more lower. And the other 
Lords and their wiues do fitte at other Tables more lower, according 
to their degrees, dignities, offices, eftates, and age. At the faide Tables 
commonly do fitte foure thoufand perfons, or very neere, and euery one 
may fee the great cane as he fitteth at his dinner. In the middeft of the 
Hall is a very greate vcffell or cefterne of fine gold, that will holde tenne 
Hoggeflieads, which is alwayes kept full of perfedt good drinke. And 
neere vnto that veflell be other foure veflels of filuer bigger than that, full 
of good wine, with many other veflels and pottes by them, of gold, and 
of filuer, which may be of pottels a peece, or as muche as will ferue foure 
men for a dinner. At dinner, out of the veflell of golde, wyth pottes of 
golde, they drawe wine for to ferue the greate cane his Table, for him, 
his wiues, children, and kindred : and out of the veflelles of filuer, with 
lars and Pottes of filuer, they drawe wine to ferue the Lordes and the 
Ladies, and all others fitting at the Tables, as well women as men. And 
euery one that fitteth at the tables hathe a cuppe of golde before hym to 
drinke in. And euery one that bringeth anye feruice to the greate canes 
Table, hathe a towell of golde and filke before his mouth, bycaufe his 
breath fliall not come vppon the meate and drinke they bring. When the 
great cane will drinke, all the Mufitians that bee in the Hall doe play, 
and euery one that ferueth, kneeleth downe tyll hee haue drunke. In the 
Hall be alwayes lefters, luglers, and fooles, attending vpon the Tables, 
to make paftime all dynner tyme, and after Dinner is done, and the 
Tables taken vppe, euerie man goeth aboute his bufinefle. All the 
tartares keepe greate feafting and cheere euery yeare on the daye that 
CUBLAY CANE was bomc, which was on the eight and twentith day of 
September, and that is the greateft feaft they make in all the yeare faue 
one, that heereafter fliall be fpoken of. The greate cane doth apparell 


himfelfe that day he was borne on in cloth of golde maruellous rich, and 
.12000. Baros be apparelled with him after the fame forte touching the 
cloth of gold, but not fo rich and precioufe, and euery one of the hath a 
great girdle of gold, and that apparell and girdles the great cane giueth 
them. And there is neuer a one of thofe garments with the girdle, but it is 
worth .10000. Bifancios of golde, whiche may be a thoufand Markes. 
By this you may perceyue, that he is of great power and riches. And on 
the fayde day, all the tartares, and Merchantes, and fubieds, and 
thofe that dwell in his Countreys, be bounde to prefente vnto hym euery 
one fomethyng, according to his degree and abilitie, in knowledging him 
to be their Lorde. And whatfoeuer he be that doth begge any office or 
gift of him, mufl: giue him a prefent, according to the gift he doth a(ke. 
And all his Subieds and Merchantes, and trauellers, or anye other that 
be founde in his Countreys or Prouinces, be vfually bounde to pray for the 
greate cane to hys Idols, to preferue hym and hys Countreys, whether they 
be Tartares or Chriftians, or lewes, or Moores. The tartares begin their 
yeare the firfte day of February, and do keepe a great feaft that day. And 
the greate cane and hys Barons, with all the reft of the Citie, doe apparell 
themfelues in white that daye, making greate paftymes, faying, the greate 
CANE is blefled and fortunate, and fo doe delire a ioyfull yeare. And on 
that daye there is prefented to the great cane more than .loooo. Horfes 
and Mares al white, and more than fine thoufand Elephats, with two 
greate bafkettes vpon them full of prouifion neceffarie for hys Courtes. 
And befides thys, there is prefented to hym a great number of Camels, 
couered all with white cloth of filke, for feruice of their K. And when 
they giue thefe prefents, they doe all paffe by, where the great cane 
doeth ftande and fee them. On the fame daye that this feaft is, in the 
morning betimes, before the Tables be couered, all the kings, Dukes, 
Marqueffes, Lords, Captaynes, Gouernours, and luftices of his countryes, 
<2f other officers, come into the Hal before f prefence of the great cane, 
and thofe that can not come in, be in another place, where as the great 
CANE may fee them all: and thus being altogither as though they woulde 
make fome requeft, there goeth one vppe vpon a buylding or fcaffolde 
that is made for the fame purpofe, in the middeft of the hall, & with a 
loude or high voyce, biddeth them al kneele downe vpon their knees, and 
giue laudes and thankes to their Lord, and ftreight wayes euery one doth 
honor him as if he were an Idoll : and this they doe foure times, and thys 
being done, euery one goeth and fitteth downe in his place, and after- 
wardes do rife one after an other, and goe to an aulter, whiche is fet in the 
middeft of the hall, and vpon it is a table fet, written on with letters of 


He giueth a 
rick Liuerie. 

Euery Liuerie 
is worth a 

The Tartares 
begin their 
yeare thefirjl 
day of 

Terme thou- 
fand white 
Horfes and 
Mares pre- 
fented to the 
great Cane. 

Al his nobilitie 
do krule and 
worfhip the 
Cane as if he 
were an Idol. 



A great and 
rich offering. 

The great 

Cane doth 

giue liueries 

.13. times in a 

yeare, and 

euery time he 

changes his 


Foiir [Thre'e] 

moneths he doth 

continue in 


No man may 

hunt no hauk 


within thirtie 

days iourney 

oj his Citie. 

gold, and garnifhed with pretious flones of greate value, and the writing 
is the proper name of the greate cane, and wyth Senfors of fine golde 
full of incenfe and fire, they incenfe that table in honour of the great cane. 
And after that, euery one in prefence of the great cane, doth offer great 
and precious giftes according to his ftate, condition, and abilitie, and this 
being done, they go all and fitte downe at the tables to dinner. And the 
great cane thirteene times in the yeare doeth giue apparell to his 
Barrons, in thirteen great feaftes he doeth make, and at euery time he 
doeth chaunge this apparel, and this apparel that he doth giue, is of 
greater and lefler value, according to the degree of him that he giueth it 
vnto. And to euerye one he giueth a girdle, or a payre of hofen, or a 
hatte, garnifhed wyth golde, and fet with pearles and pretious fliones, 
according to the degree of the parties: and of this apparell is euerye 
yeare .156000. and this he doth for to honour and magnifie his feaftes. 
And at euery fuch feaft the gret cane hath lying at his feete a tame Lyon, 
vpon a rich Carpet. And the great cane is refident, during the fayde 
three moneths, in Camballo, that is to fay, December, lanuarie, and 
Februarie. And during the fayd three months, the whole country there- 
about, to fay thirtie dayes iourney, is kept for hawking, hunting, and 
fouling, only for to ferue the Courtes, and what they do take and kil, is 
prefented and broughte to the greate canes Courte, and fuch as dwell 
further of in other prouinces that kill wilde beaftes, not able to bee brought 
to the Court, they do trimme and drefle the fkins thereof, and bring them 
to the Courte for to drefle, make, and trimme armour and munitions, for 
the wars, which he hath infinite number. 

Two noble 

men be 

maijlers of his 

dogs, and 

they haue ten 

thou/and m2 


Of the manner the great cane doth 

vfe in his hunting 

chapter 56 

[Marsden: Bk. ii. Ch. xv. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. xci. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xix. Benedetto: Ch. xcm] 

His CUBLAY cane, or great cane, hath wyth him two 
noble men, that be his brethren, the one called baian, and 
the other mytigan, and they be called Cinitil, whych is as 
muche to fay, as maifters or gouernours of the dogs or 
Mafties of theyr Lordes, eyther of thefe two noble menne, 
hath tenne thoufande menne all apparelled in one huerye 
of whyte and redde, and euerye one of thefe twentie thoufande menne 


hath charge and gouernemente of two Maftyes, or at the leaft one, and 
when the great cane wyll go on hunting, thefe two noble men go wyth 
him with theyr twentye thoufande men, or with the mofle parte of them, 
and fo beginne their hunting with thofe men and dogges, who be well 
vfed to it, and the great cane goeth into the middeft of the fields, hauing 
his two Lordes with their men and dogges on eche fide of him, and 
diuideth them into companies, in fuch forte, that there fhal no game rife, 
that fhall fcape them, what kynde of beafte fo euer it bee. 

Of the manner of his hauking for wildefoule 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xvi, xvii (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. xcii and a few lines from Chs. xcni 
and xciv. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xx and a few lines from Chs. xxi and xxii. Benedetto : Ch. xciv and 
a few lines from Chs. xcv and xcvi] 

" ^y^r^ ^He firft day of March, the great cane departeth from 
Cambalu and goeth with his Court and Barons, towards the 
South feas, named the OcceaUy that lyeth two dayes iourney 
from Cambalu, and he carrieth with him ten thoufande 
Faulcons, fine thoufand Gerfaulcons, and other kinde of 
Haukes a great number, which are very Angular and good, 
aboue all other, and are bred in his Seniories, and al thofe that they take 
in his countries are prefented to the great cane, for his own vfe. Court, 
and Barrons, that alwayes kepe his companie, which are neuer leffe than 
. 1 5000. and they bee called Tujlores, which is as much to fay, as the Lords 
gard, & all thefe do pradife hauking, and euery one of them doth carry 
his reclayme or lewer, and haukes hood, that when he hath neede he 
may take vp his Hauke. They doe neuer leefe one of thefe Faulcons, for 
euery one of them hath faftned vnto hys Belles a Scutchion of gold, wherin 
is written the name of hys Mayfter, and when foeuer one of the is lofte, 
he that findeth him flreyghte wayes doeth prefent him vnto the great 
CANE, or to one of thofe barros his brethren, and he caufeth hym to be 
deliuered agayne, to him that before had charge of him, for he is knowen 
by the Scutchion that the Hauke hath vpon his belles. 

The great 
Cane hath 
with him ten 
Faulcons tif 
fiue thoufand 

They do neuer 
leefe FauLcon 
nor Gerfaulcon. 




going a 


There be at 

the leajl ten 

thou/and tits 

and pauilions 

Jet vp in the 


Thefe two 
nts bee of a 
good value. 

Of the manner that the great cane hath in trauelling in his 

countrey, and how he abydeth in the fields in his tents 

and pauilions 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xvi, xvii (in part) (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. xcn and a few lines from 
Chs. xcni and xcrv (cont.). Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xx and a few lines from Chs. xxi and xxn (cont.). 
Benedetto: Ch. xcrv and a few lines from Chs. xcv and xcvi (cont.)] 

'Hen the greate cane maketh any iourney in his countrey, 
he goeth in a fayre lodge or edification, hauing a verye 
faire chamber made vpon foure Elephants, which is couered 
with the fkinnes of Lions, and in this chamber he hath 
twelue Gerfaulcons, and certain of the Barrons in his com- 
pany to giue him pleafure and paftime : and round about 
thefe Elephants there be on horfebacke very many barrons, and as foone 
as they fee anye foule, or Crane fly, they declare it vnto their Lord, and 
he immediately, letteth thefe Gerfaulcons flye : and after this fort he goeth 
through his countrey: and when the greate cane commeth to any broade 
and faire fields, which they do call Caziamon, which he doth finde ready 
fet with tents and pauilions for him and his wiues, and for his children and 
barrons, and thefe tentes and pauilions, are at the leaft .10000. and the 
tentes of the great cane are fo large, that when they are fet vp, there 
may be vnder and walke at theyr eafe .2000. knights, and the entring into 
them openeth towardes the South, and one of the tentes is for the Barrons 
and Knightes that are of the Lordes garde, and in a fmaller tente that 
ftandeth by it, opening towardes the Septentrion, edified wyth faire 
chambers, wrought all with golde, ordayned for f great cane where he 
keepeth Courtes, and audience to all them that come: and in this tent 
there be two chambers with faire Halles, and the feelings is fuflieined 
vppon three pillers of a maruellous worke, and are couered with Lions 
ikinnes, and of other beafts, wroughte and painted of diuers coloures, fo 
that neyther wind nor raine can enter or palfe through, for they are made 
onely for that purpofe: and thefe chambers and halles, are fiirred with 
Ermines and lebeUnes or Sables, whiche Sabels is fo pretious, that one 
furre for a Knighte are or is worth .2000. Byfancios of gold. All the cordes 
of thefe tents are of filke, and thefe twoo tentes are of fuche value, that a 
meane King thoughe he do fell all his lande, is not able to buy them. And 
rounde aboute thefe two tentes fl:ande manye other tentes being verye 
faire, for the Barons, and for the other people, fo wel fet and ordayned. 


that it feemeth to be a greate Citie: & from euery place there commeth 
people to fee the mightinelfe & pleafure of the greate cane. There goeth 
with the greate cane all his Courte that he keepeth in Cambalu, and in the 
place he remayneth hunting and hawking vntil al the moneth of Aprill, 
for there they finde greate plentie of wildefoule, for that there be great 
lakes and riuers. When the greate cane goeth on hawking for wilde 
foule, there may no man hawk neere him, not within twentie dayes 
iorny, vppon a great penaltie. And from the beginning of March vntill 
Odober, there is no Baron nor fubiede vnto the great cane, that dare 
take any wild beaft or foule, though there be very greate plentie in that 
countrie, vppon great penaltie, and when the time of his hawking is ended, 
hee returneth vnto the Citie of CambalUy hawking by the way, and neere 
vnto the Citie he doth keepe folemne cheare .iij, dayes. Within the faide 
Citie they lodge no jftraungers, nor bury any dead corps. There commeth 
vnto this Citie merchandize from all parts of the world, cloth of gold and 
of filke, pretious ftones and pearles, and great plentie of other notable 
thinges to maintaine the magnificence of the greate canes Courte that 
he hathe, and for the greate reforte of people that come thither: and this 
Citie is fcituated in the middeft of his prouinces and countries. 

Of the money that is vfed in all that countrey 

chapter 59 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xvin. Pautkier: Bk. u. Ch. xcv (abridged). TuU: Bk. 11. Ch. xxrv (abridged). 

Benedetto: Ch. xcvn (abridged)] 

He greate cane caufeth his money to be made in this 
manner, caufing the rine of a Mulberry tree to be cut very 
thinne, whiche is between the vtter rine and the tree, and 
of this he maketh mony both fmall and great, whiche fome 
of them is worth halfe an ounce, fome an ounce, fome ten 
groats, fome twentie, fome thirtie, and fome worth a 
Bifanco of golde, and fome of twoo Bifancoes, and fo they rife vntil tenne 
Bifancios of gold. This money is flaped with the figne of the Lord, & it is 
currant in al his Country, and in al the prouinces which are fubied vnto 
him, & no man may refufe this mony, for if he do he muft leefe his head, 
& he that doth counterfet hys coine fhall be deftroyed vnto the third 
generation. There commeth fometimes vnto the Courte of Cambalu, 
Merchants that bring golde and pretious ftones for to buy the cloth of 
golde and filke, and other Merchaundizes in quantitie of three thoufand 

Three dayes 
he doth makt 
great chearg 
after his 
hunting is 

The monty 
that is vfid 
in thofe 

He that doth 
hys cojmejhall 
be dejiroyed to 
the thirdt 


Bifancios of golde, and many times the greate cane commaundeth, that 
all the golde, filuer, and pretious ftones, that may be founde in the Mer- 
chauntes handes, and fubiedes of his dominions, fhoulde be deHuered to 
his treafurers, and fo they doe, and they be paid for it in this faide money, 
which is made of the rine of a Mulbery tree, that they may fee how al the 
gold, filuer, pearle & pretious ftones is clofed vp in his treafury being 
bough te for this vile money of no value, fo that little golde, filuer, pearles 
and pretious ftones commeth out of his country: and after this forte he 
maketh himfelfe the richeft Prince of the worlde. 

Of the order and rules that he hath in his dominions 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Gh. xrx. Pauthier: Bk. 11. Ch. xcvi. Yule: Bk. n. Ch. xxv. Benedetto'. Gh. xcvm] 

The noble ^^^^^^^^^^Hc great CANE hathc fette tenne Barons or noble men of 

men that doe 
Jet order for 

^^j greate eftimation to gouerne .64. prouinces and countries 
all the create ^^^ ^^^^ fubieds vnto him, and they euer remaine in hys Citie 
anes agaves. \^^^ ^^^ imperial of Cambdlu, and thefe tenne Barons doe appoynt 
liP^S ^^^ ludges, and Notaries ouer the Countries that are vnder 
¥L^^-^:.iS^ their guiding, of the which euery one of them doth exercife 
his office in the country that he hath charge of, and thefe ludges remaine 
alfo in the Citie of Cambalu, vnder the obedience of thofe Barons. Thefe 
tenne Barons do conftitute gouernours and officers throughe all the 
Countries, and doe chaunge them when they lifte, and when they haue 
putte them in the roome, they doe prefent them before the greate cane, 
and hee doeth accepte them, and giueth them Tables of Golde, and by 
writing the order howe to vfe themfelues: and thefe gouernoures and 
officers doe gyue them knowledge by letters and meffengers vnto the 
ludges which are deputies ouer them, and thofe ludges doe notifie all things 
vnto thofe ten Barons, and they do make declaration of it vnto the great 
c ANE, fo that after this manner, he knoweth what is done in hys Countries, 
and prouideth for all things neceflarie. 



Of the faide order 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xdc (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. xcvi (cont.), Ttde: Bk. ii. Ch. xxv (cont.). 

Benedetto: Ch, xcvin (cont.)] 

Hefe ten Barons are called senich, which is to fay, the prin- 
cipalles of the Court : and thefe doe prouide for the preferuation 
of the great canes eftate, and they do ordain his warres and 
hoftes, and Knightes, and they doe treate and make peace 
betweene the Lordes, and they doe make prouifion in euery manner of 
thing that toucheth their Lordes eftate, and to all his dominions, but they 
lette nothing palfe, vntill fuche time as their Lorde do vnderftande it. 

Of the Citie Cambalu 
chapter 62 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xx (first 4 lines), xxiii (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. xcvii (first 4 lines), ci. 
Yule: Bk. n. Chs. xxvi (first 5 lines), xxx. Benedetto: Chs. xcix (first 3 lines), cm] 

He Citie of Cambalu hathe manye oudettes and gates, that 
thoroughe them they maye goe vnto diuers prouinces and 
countries, <2f when they goe from thence, for to goe vnto Cataya, 
they finde a great mountaine, where there is blacke ftones, & 
they burne like wood, when they be well kindled they will keep a fire 
from one day to an other, which I fuppofe be of the nature of oure Sea- 
coles, and they do burne of them in that Country, thoughe they haue 
woodde, but the woodde is more dearer than are the ftones or feacoales. 

Of the meruailous things that be 

founde in that countrey 

chapter 63 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxvn. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. crv. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xxxv. Benedetto: Ch. cvi] 

He great cane fent me marcus paulus as his Embalfador 
towards the Occident or Weftwarde, in the which meflage 
I was fourteene moneths, from the time that I went from 
Cambalu. And heere I will declare to you of the meruailous 
things that I faw with mine own eies, afwel at my going 
outwards, as at my commyng homewardes, as that at my 

Marcus Paul 
us was made 
the Emperoures 


A goodly 

Bridge and 



going frd Cambalu, and taking my iourney towards the Occident or 
Weftwarde. And after that I had gone tenne dayes iorney, I founde a 
very great riuer which is called Poluifanguis, and runneth his courfe into 
the Occean fea. Vppon this riuer there is a bridge, the fayreft in the 
worlde, it hath three hundred paces of length, and eighte paces of breadth, 
fo that there may goe tenne menne in a rancke on horfebacke. This 
Bridge hathe foure and twentie arches of Marble, very artificially wroughte, 
at the heade of this Bridge at the one fide fiiandeth a Filler being verye 
greate of Marble, hauing a Lion fianding on the toppe, and an other 
Lion at the neather ende, being very liuely made, and a pace and a halfe 
diftant, firom that ftandeth an other like vnto it, and fo orderly ftandeth 
one by another, til you come vnto the further ende of the bridge, fo there 
is on eche fide of the bridge two hundred pillers, and in the middes of 
euery piQer, there is made Images of men very artificially. 

Of the Gitie named Gqygu, and of 
many meruellous things 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. 3cxvra. Pauthien Bk. n. Ch. cv. Tide: Bk. n. Ch. xxxvi. Benedetto: Ch. cvn] 

Rom this Bridge you fhall goe tenne miles throughe fields full of 

Vines, & very faire palaces : at ^ ten miles end, there is a Citie 

named Goygu, it is very great & faire, in it there ftadeth a gret 

Abby of Idolatry. The people of this Country Hue vppon mer- 

Umispientu chaundizc, and be artificers, for they do make great plentie of cloth of 

"'^'ooidf S^^d^ ^^^ filke. Alfo there is plentie of lodgings for thofe that do trauaile, 

and come thither out of other places. 

Of the way that goeth vnto the 
Countrey of the Magos 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxvin (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cv (cont.). Tide: Bk. n. Ch. xxxvi (cont.). 

Benedetto: Ch. cvn (cont.)] 

Gyng fi"om this Citie almofiie a myle, there parteth twoo wayes, 
the one goeth vnto the Occident or Weaft, and the other goeth 
towardes the Siroco. The waye whiche goeth vnto the Occident 
or Weafte, leadeth vnto the Occean Sea towards the high 

armor madt. 


Countrey of the magos, and you may trauaile throughe the prouince of 
Cataya tenne dayes ioumey, in the whiche waye there is many Cities and 

Of the Citie named Tarafu 

chapter 66 

[Mwrsdenx Bk. n. Chs. xxdc, xxx. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cvi. Tide: Bk. n. Ch. xxxvn. 

Bmedetto: Ch. cvm] 

jFter you do goe from the Citie of Goygu trauaiUng ten dayes 
ioumey, you come vnto a Citie named Tarafu^ whiche is the 
heade Citie of that countrie or prouince, where there is plentie 
of vines & muche wine, and there they doe make all kinde of Hereismuk 
armoure for the greate canes Court. In the Countrie of Cataya^ there 
is no wine, for they prouide themfelues of wine out of this region. 

Of the Citie named Paimphu 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xxdc, xxx (cont.), Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cvi (cont). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xxxvn (cont.). Berudetlo: Ch. cvra (cont.)] 

[Raueling from thece towards the Occident or Weaft eighte dayes 
ioumey throughe fayre Cities and Townes, wherein they doe 
traffike Merchandizes, at the eyght dayes iorney you fhal come 
vnto a very gret and fayre Citie whiche is named Pajmphu, and 

going twoo dayes iorney beyonde it, you fhall come vnto a fayre Towne 

named Cqyckin, whiche was made by their King. 

Of a King named bur 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxi. Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cvn, cvra (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. n. Chs. xxxvra, xxxix (abridged). Benedetto: Chs. cax, ex (abridged)] 

"va-^ ^ His BUR warred a long time with prester iohn, & he 
coulde neuer haue anye vauntage of him, but at lafte 
prester iohn gotte him by a traine after this forte: 
Seauen yong Gentlemen of prester iohns Courte went 
from him with his licece, and came to the Court of this 
king BUR, ftiewing as though they had departed from 

A King was 

made ajheep- 

hearde by 

Prefter lohn. 


PRESTER JOHN in great difpleafure, & fo offered themfelues to ferue the 
faid King bur, who retayned them as fquires and pages in his Courte, 
and after they had bin with h)Tn two yeares, hauing greate confidence 
and trufle in them, thys King bur on a tyme roade abroade for his 
pleafure, and taking with him the faide feauen Gentlemen, and being the 
diflaunce of a myle from his Caflell, perceyuyng they had him now at 
aduantage to execute their purpofe, tooke him, and carryed him to 
PRESTER lOHN, and PRESTER lOHN made him his fheepehearde, and 
kept his fheepe two yeares, and afterwardes gaue him horfes and menne, 
and fent him to his Caftell as his fheepehearde. 

Of the Citie named Cafiomphur 


[Marsden: Bk. 11. Ch. xxxii. Pauthier: Bk. 11. Ch. cix (abridged). Tule; Bk. n. Ch. XL (abridged). 

Benedetto: Ch. cxi (abridged)] 

^Eyond this caftel twentie miles towardes the Occident, there 
flandeth a great Citie named Cafiomphur, and the people of it 
^anddo& ^^^^ worlhip Idolles. The like doe all thofe of the Gountrey of Cataya. 
jiike made. In this Gitic there is made muche cloth of golde and of filke. 

Of the Citie named Bengomphu, and of many 
things that there is found in thofe parties 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxiv. Pauthier: Bk. 11. Ch. ex (abridged). Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xli (abridged). 

Benedetto: Ch. cxn (abridged)] 

)Oing from Cafiomphur eight dayes iourney towards the 
Occident, you fhal goe alwayes by greate Cities and faire 
Townes, and excellente places, with goodlie and faire 
Gardens, with principal houfes: there is great plentie of 
wilde beafls and foules, for hunting and banking, and at 
the ende of thefe eight dayes iourney, there ftandeth a faire 
Citie whiche is called Bengomphu, and is the head Citie of that realme. 
There is in this Citie as king, one of the great canes fonnes, who is called 
MAGALA. The people of this Realme are Idolatours. This Citie hath 
plentie of all things, and without this Citie flandeth ihe pallace royall of 
the king, the which with the Wal of the Citie is tenne myle compaffe. In 
this Citie there is a lake made of many fountaines, that runneth and 



ferueth the Citie. The Walles of this Citie haue very faire battlementes, 
and on the infide of the Wall of that Pallace it is layde on with gold, Uke 
playfter, and without this Pallace, round about that lake, there is very 
faire and delegable ground and fields. 

The infide of 
the pallace 
wall is layde 
on with gold. 

Of the prouince named Chincky 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxv. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxi. Tide: Bk. u. Ch. xlh. Benedetto: Ch. cxra] 

Oing from thys pallace towards the Occident three dayes iourney, 
you come vnto a playne full of faire Cities and townes, and at 
this three dayes iourneys ende, there bee greate mountaines and 
valleis belonging to the prouince of Chincky, in thefe moun- 
taines and valleys there be many Cities and townes, and all the people 
there are Idolaters, hufbandmen, and hunters. This iorney endureth 
twentie dayes, there be in it manye Lions, and plentie of other wilde 
beaftes, and in all thefe twentie dayes iourney there is plentie of lodging 
for thofe that doe trauell. 

Of the Countrey and Citie called Cineleth Mangi, and 
many other things which be founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxv (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxii. 

Benedetto: Ch. cxrv] 

Yule: Bk. n. Ch. xun. 

Mangi a citie. 

|T the end of twentie dayes iourney ftandeth a Citie named 
Cyneleth, a noble and a greate Citie, and vnder die obedience of 
this Citie there be many Cities & townes toward the Occident. 
The people of thys Countrey are Idolatours, they haue great Great trade 
trade of Merchandife. In this countrey there is plentie of fh^Jg, 
Ginger, and from thence the Merchaunts do carrie it vnto 
Cataya. Alfo there is aboundance of wheate and other graine. Thys countrey 
is called Cyneleth Mangi, and it hath two dayes iourney of plaine countrey. 
Beyond this countrey, there be great playnes and valleys & mountaines, 
being greatly inhabited, with Cities and townes, for the fpace of twentie days 
iourney, where there be many Lions and beares, befides other wilde beaftes. 
Alfo there is greate plende of Mufkcats, and other noble and faire beaftes. 


Here be many 
Mujke cattes. 


Of the countrey and Citie named Cindarifa, 
and of a maruellous bridge 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxvi (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxni (in part). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xliv (in part). Benedetto: Ch, cxv (in part)] 

)Fter you haue gone thefe twentye dayes iourney, you come 
ynto a great plain, being of the countrey named Cindarifaf 
whiche is twenty miles compaffe, and the great cane be- 
fore he died, diuided it into three partes, & al three parts 
be ftrongly walled rounde about. Through the middeft of 
this countrey runneth a great riuer, which is called ChamphUy 
half a mile brode. There is in this riuer plentie of fifh, and there is 
fcituated vpon this riuer many Cities and townes : alfo by fhipping vpon 
this riuer they fayle from Citie to Citie, with all kind of Merchaundifes. 
From the beginning and heade of this riuer, vntill the entring into the 
maine fea, there is thirtie days iourney, and the chiefe Citie of this 
countrey is named Sindarifa. From this citie ouer the riuer, there is a 
A bridge of bridge of a mile long, and eight paces brode, made of marble ftone, and 
""SS/ couered with timber of Pineaple tree, verye fayre. On the fides of this 
paces brode bridge, thcrc be houfes and fhops for Merchauntes, and of diuerfe occupa- 
'^^iZjmon'tt. tions, and at the foote of this bridge there ftandeth a cuftome houfe, 
verye faire made, where they do gather their Lords cuftomes, and euery 
daye they receiue tenne thoufande Bifancios of God. The people of this 
countrey are Idolatours. 

Of the prouince named Cheleth 

chapter 74 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xxxvr (last 7 lines), xxxvn (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cxni (last 7 
lines), C3CIV. Tule: Bk. 11. Chs. xliv (last 5 lines), xlv. Benedetto: Chs. cxv (last 5 lines), cxvi] 

Oing from this countrey, you fhal trauell through a faire 

plaine country, ful of many townes and Cities, it indureth 

hue dayes iourney, and then you fhal come vnto a prouince, 

whiche is called Cheleth^ which was deftroyed by the great 

Here be Canes ^,^SS3Si^ CANE. In this prouiucc there bee Canes which are called 

qf£^teen paces ^^^y^Ti^::^^ BeTgamgas of fiftccne paces long, and tenne fpannes in compaffe 

/pinslbout. euerye one of them, and they haue from the one knot to the other three fpans. 

The trauellours make fire with thefe Canes, for they haue this propertie, that 

as foone as they feele the heate of the fire, they giue fuch a great cracke, that 



the found is harde many miles off, and die Lyons and wilde beaftes that are 
thereabouts, be fo fearefull of that noyfe, that they do run away, and do 
no hurt vnto thofe that trauell, and the horfes that the traueliours doe 
ride on, haue fo much feare of that noyfe, being not vfed vnto it, that 
they breake theyr brydles and haulters, and ninne away, fo that fome- 
times they cannot finde them againe, therefore thofe that trauell, doe tye 
their horfes and Affes in certaine holes or Caues that they finde in the 
Mountaines. This countrey is twentie dayes ioumey long, where they 
finde nothing to eate, nor yet to drinke, nor no habitation, therfore thofe 
that trauell that way do carrie prouifion for thofe twenty dales ioumey, 
whiche they do paffe with great feare and trauell. 

Of the Prouince named Thebet, and of the maruellous 
beaftlinelfe and filthie liuing of the people there 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. xxxvi (last 7 lines), xxxvn (in part). Pauthier: Bk, n. Chs. cscm (last 7 
lines), cxiv. Tule: Bk. n. Chs. xliv (last 5 lines), xlv. Benedetto: Chs. cxv (last 5 lines), cxvi 
(All continued)] 

^T thefe twenty dayes iourneys end, you come vnto a Prouince 
or Countrey, that is full of Cities and Townes. And the 
cuftome in this Countrey is, that none dothe marrie with 
maydes nor virgins, but that firft fhe muft be knowen 
carnally of many men, and fpecially of flrangers. And for 
this occafion, when the mothers meane to marrie anye of 
their damfels, the mother dothe carrie them neere the high way fide, and 
with mirth and cheere procure th thofe that do trauell, to fleepe with hir, 
and fometimes there lyeth with hir ten, and with fome other twenty. 
And when the ftranger or traueller goeth his wayes from any fuche 
Damfell, hee muft leaue vnto hir fome iewell, the whiche iewell, the faide 
damfels or wenches do hang at their neckes, in token and figne that they 
haue loft their virginitie wyth ftrangers. And ftie that hathe vfed hir 
felfe with mofte ftrangers, it ftiall be knowen by the moft quantitie of 
iewels that ftie weareth aboute hir necke, and ftie moft fooneft ftiall 
finde a mariage, and ftiall be moft prayfed and loued of hir huftjand. 
And thofe of this prouince are Idolaters, euill men, cruell, and robbers. 
In this Countrey there be manye wilde beaftes, and fpecially of Mufl^ettes. 
All thofe of this Countrey doe weare Canuas, and Cowhydes, and the 
Ikinnes of wilde beaftes, whych they do take in hunting. This Countrey 
is named Thebethe^ and is adioyning vnto the Prouince of Maugy. 

No tnaydens 
may marrie in 
this Countrey. 

For lacke of 
wollen cloUi, 
they do wear 
Canuas, and 
vuilde beaftes 




Heere is found 

plenty of golde. 

Their money 

is made of 


Here is cloth 

of sold, cloth 

offilke, and 



Heere groweth 


Majlies as 

bigge as AJJes. 

Of the Prouince and Countrey named Maugi 


[Marsden: Bk. u. Ch. xxxvii (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxv (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xlvi (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxvii (abridged)] 

\Augi is a great prouince and Countrey, and it hathe vnder it 
eyghte Kingdomes and Riuers, and in the fame there is found 
much gold of Payulja. And they doe vfe money made of 
Currall, and the Currall is there very deere, for that the 
women do vfe to weare it about their neckes, and doe decke 
their Idols with it. In this Countrey they doe worke cloth of 
gold and filke, and of Chamlet great plenty. Alfo, there groweth much 
fpice. Alfo, there be manye Negromancers, Aftronomers, Inchanters, and 
euill difpofed men. Alfo, there be in this Countrey Mafties as bigge as Aifes, 
and the people be fubjeds to the great cane. 

Plenty of 

Pearles and 

precious florus. 

Heere they 

kaue an ill 


Of the Prouince and Countrey named Candon, and of the iewels 
that grow there, and of the beaftly conditions of the people 


[Marsden: Bk. 11. Ch. xxxvra. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. acvi. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. xlvii. 
Benedetto: Ch. cxviii] 

*Andew is a Countrey that lyeth towards the Occident, and 
it hathe vnder it feauen Kingdomes of Idolaters, fubiedes 
vnder the greate cane. In this Countrey there be many 
Cities, Townes, and Villages. And in one place of this 
Countrey, there is greate plenty of Pearles and precious 
ftones, but the great cane dothe not fuffer them to be had 
out. And in the Mountaynes in this Countrey there be fotld many Tur- 
queffes, and they may not be had out of the Countrey, without expreffe 
licence of the greate cane. Alfo, the cuflome of the people in this 
Countrey is, that as foone as there commeth a ftranger to lodge in his 
houfe, the good man goeth out, commaunding his wife, children, and 
feruantes to obey that Stranger, as his owne proper perfon, and hee neuer 
commeth home vnto his owne houfe, vntill he know that the Stranger is 
gone from his houfe, and he knoweth it by a figne and a token that the 
Stranger dothe leaue at his going at the dore. And when the good man 
fpyeth the figne or token, he entreth into hys houfe. This vfe they doe 


keepe thorough all that Countrey, and take it for no ftiame, although the 
Strangers do vfe their wiues. But rather they doe take it in greate honor 
and eftimation, that they do fo well enterteyne the Strangers. And theyr 
Idols tell them, for that they doe honoure the Strangers, their Gods do 
encreafe their fubftance. The people of this Coiitrey do vfe money made «?«■« is 
of gold, that euery peece is worth .7. Duckets. In this prouince and '^[^"■^ 
Countrey there is great plenty of all kinds of fpice and muflce, and great ^^ "j"''* 
plentye of fifhe, by reafon of the greate lakes and pooles that be there. spices. 

Of another Prouince, where there is found 
gold and other things 


[Marsden: Bk. u. Ch. xxxvm (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxvi (cont.). 
Tule: Bk. 11. Ch. XLvn (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. cxvin (cont.)] 

^Oing out of the forefaid prouince, and trauelling tenne dayes 
iourney through a Countrey full of Cities and Townes, and 
verye much people, feming much in their vfe and cuftome, vnto 
thofe of the laft rehearfed Countrey. And at the tenne dayes 
iourneys end, you come vnto a greate Riuer, whiche is named Brus^ at Heereis 
the which endeth the Countrey and prouince named Cande'w. In this ■^pl^'^yfof" 
Riuer there is founde great plen tie of gold. And faft by this riuer groweth gou. 
very much Ginger. And thys Riuer falleth into the Occean Sea. thesTas. 

Of the Prouince named Cara^'fl 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xxxix. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxvn. Ytde: Bk. n. Ch. XLvni. 
Benedetto: Ch. cxix] 

jEyonde this Riuer you come vnto a Prouince named Caraia to- 
wards the Occident. In this Countrey there be feauen Kingdomes, 
fubiedles vnder the greate cane. Heere raigneth one of the greate 
CANES fonnes, named esentemur, being rich, wife, and a valiant man, 
and gouerneth his fubieds with great prudence and iuftice. Thefe people 
be Idolaters. And after that you haue paffed the faide Riuer, and trauelUng 
fiue dayes iourney, there be many Cities and Townes, and there is brought Heere be 
vp and bredde great plentie of Horfes. Ki^"'^" 



A Sazo of 

gold is worth 

eyght of 

Jibur, which 

is an ounce. 

Heere is great 
plenty of golde. 

Of the Prouince named loci, and of 
their beaftly cuftomes 


[Marsden: Bk. 11. Gh. xxxix (cont.). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxvn (cont.). 
Ch. XLvm (cont.). Benedetto: Ch. caox (cont.)] 

rule: Bk. n. 

^T hue dayes iourneys end, you come vnto a Gitie which is 
named loci, and is verye great and full of people Idolaters, 
fauing that there be fome Chriftian people Heretikes 
Neftorians. They do vfe for their money fine fhelles white, 
whiche are founde in the Sea, and fourefcore of them are 
worth a Sazo of gold, whyche is worth two grotes of golde. 
And eyght Sazos of filuer, which is an ounce, and is worth a Sazo of golde. 
There they do make Sault of the water of WeUes great piety. And in this 
Countrey no man careth though another man haue to do with his wife. 
There is a Lake in thys Prouince, hauing in compaffe a hundred miles. 
Therein is plentie of excellent good fifh. The people of this Countrey do 
eate rawe flefhe after this manner. They cut it in fmall peeces, and fauce 
it with Garlike and fpices, which giueth them a good tail vnto the flelh. 

Of the Prouince named Chariar, and of the 
ftrange Serpents that be there 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Gh. xl. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxvin (abridged). Ttde: Bk. n. Ch. xux (abridged). 

Benedetto: Ch. cxx (abridged)] 

I Ding from this Prouince loci, and trauelling tenne dayes 
iourney, you come vnto another Prouince named Chariar, 
fubied vnto the greate cane, and it is full of people of 
Idolaters, and one off great canes fonnes named cho- 
cayo, ruleth and gouerneth them. And in this Gountrey 
there is found great plenty of gold. And a Sazo of gold 
goeth there for ftxe of filuer. And they doe vfe in this Gountrey httle 
white fhelles of the Sea, in flead of money, which is broughte from India. 
In this Prouince there be certayne Serpents of tenne paces in length, and 
their gaule is folde very deere, for they do vfe it in manye medicines : for 
if a man Ihoulde be bitte with a madde Dogge, laying vppon the fore fo 
muche quantitie of that gaule as will lye vpon a farthing, it healeth it 
immediately. Alfo, it eafeth a woman of hir pangs, that is in trauell. 


The men of this Countrey are penierfe people, and cruell, for if they do 
fee anye trauellers that are prudente and faire, they do marke where the 
night doth t2ike them, and thither they come and kill them, faying, that 
the faireneffe and prudence of the dead, doth paffe vnto them, and there- 
fore they do kill them, and not for to rob them. This penierfe cuftome was 
among them before they became vnder the great cane. But .95. yeares 
hitherto that they were vnder the greate cane, they dare not doe anye 
fuch thing, and therefore become a greate deale better people, and of a 
better difpofition. 

Of the Prouince named Cingui, and of many things 
that be there, and of the Citie named Caucafu 

[Marsdm: Bk. n. Gh. xu. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxdc. Tide: Bk. n. Ch. l. Benedetto: Ch. cxxi] 

|Fter that a man departeth from Chariar, he goeth fine dayes 
iourney towards the Occident, and commeth to another 
Prouince named JVodeam, and alfo the Citie named Nociam, 
whiche is the head of tiiys Prouince, and it is vnder the 
great cane. All the men of this Prouince haue their teeth 
couered with golde. And the women do dreffe their Horfes. 
The men doe no other thing, but goe on Hunting, paffing the time in the 
fields, and goe vnto the warre. The women doe buy and fell, and do all 
things neceffarie belonging to the houfe, and gouerne all the goodes, and 
their men and women Seruantes. Ouer and aboue this, the women of 
this Countrey haue this cuftome, that as Ihe is deliuered of childe, fhe 
rifeth and wrappeth the childe, and dothe all things belonging to the 
houfe, and receyueth no more payne, than though Ihe had not bin de- 
liuered of childe, but in giuing the childe fucke, and as foone as ftie is 
dehuered, the hufband lyeth in the bedde, laying the childe by hym, as 
though he had borne it himfelfe, for the fpace of fortye dayes, and the 
woman dothe ferue him. He is vifited of the kinfmen and friends & 
neyghbours, as though he had bin dehuered himfelfe, making great 
feaftes for the fpace of thirtie dayes. In this Countrey they doe giue a 
Sazo of golde, which is an ounce, for fyue Sazos of filuer, being fyue 
ounces. Alfo, they doe \^e Perfmolas, beeyng litde fhelles of the Sea, 
whiche come from India, in ftead of money. Thefe people haue no Idols, 
but euery houfeholde worfhippeth theyr Superiour and Mayfter. None 


The men of 
this countrejf 
haue theyr 
teeth couered 
with gold. 

Heere is a 
cuftome, that 
the good man 
is much made 
of, after hys 
wife is 
broughte a 

A Soio of 
gold is an 
ounce, and is 
worth fyue 


of them can write nor reade, for that they dwell among the moyft Moun- 

taynes, corrupted with euill ayres. In thys Prouince, and in the other 

two afore fpecifyed, there be no Phifitions, but when they doe fall ficke, 

they caufe to come vnto their houfes certayne Minifters, which vfe in- 

chantmentes by the power of the Diuell, and declare the fickneffe that 

A grange kind the difcafcd hathc, and thefe Minifters founde their inftrumentes in honor 

qfPhificke. q£ \\^Qyj: Idols, in fo muche that the Deuill entereth into one of thofe 

Minifters, Inchanters, or Idols, and falleth downe as though hee were 

dead, and thofe Minifters, or Mayfters of the Idols, demaunde of hym that 

lyeth inchanted, or in a trance, wherefore that man fell ficke, and hee 

aunfwereth, for that he hathe angered fuche or fuche an IdoU, and then 

thofe Mayfters or Minifters of the Idols faye vnto him that is inchanted, we 

requeft thee to pray vnto that Idoll that is angrie wyth the ficke bodye, to 

pardon hym, and wyll make hym Sacrifice with hys owne bloud. And if hee 

that is in thys trance, doe beleeue that the difeafe is mortall, hee aunfwereth, 

thys ficke man hathe fo difpleafed the Idoll, that I knowe not whether he 

will pardon hym or not, for that hee hathe determined that hee flioulde 

dye, and if he thynketh that hee fhall efcape hee fayeth, if hee wyll lyue, 

it behoueth hym to gyue vnto the Idoll fo manye Sheepe tliat haue blacke 

neckes, and to drefle fo many fortes of meates drefled with fpices, fufficient 

to make the facrifices vnto the Idoll that is angry with him, and for the 

minifters that ferue him, and for the women that ferue in his temple, 

whiche is all fraude and guile of the inchanters for to gette vi duals, by 

this meanes all are damned vnto Hell. To this banket there is conuited 

the maifters and minifters of the Idols, the inchanters and women that 

ferue in ^ temple of that Idoll. And before they fitte downe to the Table, 

they doe fprincle the broath aboute the houfe, finging and daunfing in the 

honor of that Idoll. And they doe afke the Idoll;, if he haue forgiuen the 

ficke man. And fometimes the Feende aunfwereth, that there lacketh 

fuch or fuche a thing, whiche immediately they do prouide : and when he 

anfwereth that he is pardoned, then they do fitte downe to eate and to 

drinke that facrifice which is dreft with fpices, and this done, they go vnto 

his houfe with great ioy. If the paciente heale, it is good for him, but if he 

dye, it is an euerlafting payne for him, and if he recouer, they do beleeue 

that the diueliflie Idol hath healed him, and if he die, they fay that the 

caufe of his deathe was for the greate offence that he had done vnto him, 

and fo they be loft as brute beafts in all that Countrey. 


Of another Prouince named Machay where there be Vnicornes, vmcomes. 
Elephants, and wilde Beaftes, with many other 
ftrange things 


[Marsden: Bk, n. Gh. xun and a few lines in the middle of Ch. xux. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxxni and 
a few lines in the middle of Ch. cxxix. Ttde: Bk. n. Ch. Lin and a few lines in the middle of 
Gh. LDC. Benedetto: Ch. cxxv and a few lines in the middle of Ch. cxxxi] 

'Oing from the Prouince o{ Charian, you go downe a greate 
penet or hill, whiche endureth two dayes iourney, without 
any habitation, fauing one towne, where they doe keepe 
holyday three dayes in the weeke. There they doe take a 
Sazo of golde for fyue of liluer. And paft thefe two dayes 
iourney, you doe come vnto the prouince named Machay 
whyche lyeth towardes the midde daye or South, adioyning vnto the 
Indias, and through this prouince you trauell fifteene dayes iourney, 
through deferte mountaines, where there be many Elephants, and other 
wilde beaftes, for that the countrey is not inhabited. Alfo there is found 
Vnicornes. When they wil take any Elephant, they do compaffe him with 
dogges, and fo they do hunt him, that they make him wearie, and fo he 
is faine to reft for wearinefle, and his refting is, leaning vnto a great tree, 
for that he hath no ioyntes in hys knees, fo that he can not lye downe nor 
rife vp. The Mafties dare not come neare him, but barke at him aloofe, 
& the Elephante hath neuer his eye off thofe Mafties, and then thofe that 
be expert and hunt him, hurle Dartes, and fo kil him. In this countrey 
is much gold and lilke. 

Of a prouince named Cinguy^ and of the 
Citie named Cancafu 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. xux (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cacxix (last 6 lines), cxxx. 
Tide: Bk. n. Chs. Lix (last 7 lines), lx (in part). Benedetto: Chs. cxxxi (last 5 Unes), cxxxii] 

g^^MEyond this prouince Machay, there is another prouince named 
pteyfeiCtn^gi^;);, and trauelling foure dayes iourney in it, you pafle manye 
1^^^ Cities and townes, and at thefe four dales iournyes ende, ftandeth 
a greate Citie named Cancafu, being verye noble, fituated towards the 


Great plenty of mydday or South, and this is of the ftreight of Cataya. In thys Citie there 
indSiiS^^'^ is wroughte cloth of Golde, and filke greate plentie. 

Of the Citie named Cianglu 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. l. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. caooa. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. lx (in part). 
Benedetto: Ch. cacxxiii] 

^Rom this Citie trauelling fiue dayes ioumey, you come vnto 
another Citie named Cianglu^ which is very noble and great, 
fituated towards the midday, or fouth, and it is of the ftreight 
of Cataya, here is made greate plentie of falte: and there runneth 

through this countrey a very great riuer, that vp and down this riuer there 

trauell many fhips with merchaundife. 

Of the Citie named Candrafra, and of 
the Citie named Singuymata 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. li, ui, un (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cxxxn, cxxxin, cxxxrv (much 
abridged). Tule: Bk. n. Chs. lxi, Lxn (much abridged). Benedetto: Chs. cxxxiv, cxxxv, 
cxxxvi (much abridged)] 

Ixe dayes iourney beyonde the Citie named Cianglu, towards 
the midday or fouth, you come vnto a Citie named Can- 
drafra, ^ which had vnder it before the greate cane did 
conquere it, twelue Cities. In the coutries aboute this Citie 
there be faire Gardens, and good grounde for corne and 
filke, and beyonde this Citie three dayes iourney towards 
the midday, or fouth, there ftandeth a fayre Citie named Singuymata, 
which hath a great riuer that the Citizens made in two parts, the one way 
runneth towards the eaft, and the other towardes the Occident, or Weaft 
through Cataya, and vppon this riuer there fayle ftiippes with Mer- 
chaundifes in number incredible. 


Of the Riuer Coromoran, and of the Citie Choygamum, 
and of another Citie named Cayni 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. liv. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cacxxvn (in part). Ttde: Bk. n. Ch. Lxrv (in part). 

Benedetto: Ch. cxxxix (in part)] 

I Oing from Singuymata feuenteen dayes iourney towards the 
midday or fouth, you paffe throughe manye Cities and 
townes, in the whiche there is greate traffique of Mer- 
chaundife. The people of this countrey are fubiedes vnder 
the greate cane. Their language is Perjian, and they do 
honour Idols. At the feauenteen dayes ioumeys ende, there 
is a greate riuer that commeth from the Countrey ofpRESTER iohn, 
which is named Coromoran^ hauing a myle in bredth, and it is fo deepe, 
that there may fayle any great veflel laden with Merchandife. Vpon this 
riuer the great cane hath fifteene great fhips for to paffe his people vnto 
his Idols, that are in the Occean feas, euery fhippe of thefe hath fifteene 
horfes, and fifteene mariners, and al viduals neceffarie. Vpon this riuer 
there ftadeth two Cities, one on the one fide, and the other one the other. 
The biggeft of them is named Choyganguy, and the other Caycu and they 
be both a dayes iourney from the fea. 

Of the noble prouince named Mangi, and of many maruellous 

things that were there, and how it was brought vnder 

the great canes gouemaunce 

CHAPTER 80 [88] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. lv (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxxxvra (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. ucv (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxl (abridged)] 

?Affing the faide riuer, you enter into f prouince of Mangiy Mangi. 
where raigneth a king named fucusur, of more power and 
riches than any King in f worlde fauing the great cane. 
In this realme there be no men of warre, nor horfes for the 
wars, for it is fituated ftrongly, in a place compaffed rounde 
about with many waters. And rounde about his Cities and 
townes, there be verye deepe ditches and caues, being brode and fijll of 
water. The people of this countrey are giuen to feebleneffe, they do liue 
delicately: if they were giuen to warres, and feats of armes, all the worlde 



could not conquere the prouince of Mangi. This king of Mangi was very 
leacherous, but hee had in himfelfe two good properties, the one was, that 
he maintayned his realme in great iuftice and peace, that euery one re- 
mayned in his place, and both day and nighte you myght traffique and 
trauell furely: the other propertie was, that he was verye pitifull, and did 
greate almes vnto the poore, and euerie yeare he brought vppe twentye 
poore ftriplings, and he gaue them as fonnes and heires vnto his Barrons 
and knightes. In his Courte he hadde alwayes tenne thoufande Squires 
that ferued hym. It fortuned that in the yeare of our Lord .1267. cublay 

Mangi. CANE got perforce the countrey of Mangi, and the fayde king of this 
prouince fledde with .1000. fhippes vnto his Ilandes that were in the 

Mangi. Occean Seas. He lefte the principall Citie of his prouince Mangi named 
Gaijfqy vnder the guiding of his Queene, and when fhe knew that there 
was entred into hir land baylayncon can a Tartarous name, which 
is as much to fay in Englifhe, as a hundreth eyes, a Captaine belonging 
to the greate cane with a greate hofte, and fo without any refiftance, Ihe 
fubmitted hir felfe with all hir country, and al the cities fauing one named 
Sinphu, whiche kepte it felfe three yeares before it yeelded. Thys Queene 
was carryed vnto the greate canes Courte and kepte like a Queene, and 
the King fucusur came not out of thofe Ilandes vntill he died, being 
out of his feigniorie. 

Of the Citie named Cqygangui, and 
many other thyngs 

chapter 91 [89] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. lvi. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cacxxix. Tide: Bk. n. Ch. Lxvi. 

Benedetto: Ch. cxu] 

(Ere I will tell you of the fafhion and condition of this faide 
prouince Mangi. The firft Citie at the entring is named 
Cqygangui, whiche is a greate and a noble Citie fcituated 
towards the wind Syroco or Eaft foutheaft. The people of 
this Citie doe worfhip the Idolles, and haue the Perfian 
tongue. They haue many fhippes, and burne their dead 
bodies. This citie ftandeth vppon the riuer Coromoran. In this Citie they 
make fo muche falte as woulde fuffice for fortie great cities, and of the 
abundaunce of thys falte, there groweth greate profites vnto the greate 






Of the noble Citie named Panguy, and 
of another Citie named Cqyn 

CHAPTER 92 [90] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. Lvn, Lvm. Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cxl, cxu. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. Lxvn. 

Benedetto: Chs. cacui, cxun] 

jAflyng from Coygangui towardes the winde Siroco^ which 
bloweth betweene Leuant and the midday, which we call 
Eafte Southeafte, you trauaile vpon a fayre ftonye Cawfey 
well made. It beginneth at the entring of Mangi, and there 
be very deepe waters on ech fide of the cawfey. In this 
country of Mangi there is a citie named Pangui, very faire, 
and of greate magnificence. In this prouince they doe vfe that money 
that the greate cane doeth vfe in his countrie, and here is greate fcarcitie 
of corne, and of al things elfe that fufteineth the body. And at another 
iomeys end towards Siroco there ftandeth another noble and greate citie 
named Cayn, and all the inhabitants are Idolators, and there is abundaunce 
of fifhe and beafts, and wildfoule, fo that there is boughte three good 
Fefants for the value of fixe pence. 

Of the Citie named Tinguy 

CHAPTER 93 [91] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. ux. Pauthier: Bk. n, Ch. cxui. Ttde: Bk. n. Ch. Lxvm (first half). 

Benedetto: Ch. cacijv] 

Dayes iomey beyond Cayn you fhal find fayre villages, and eared 
grounde, and fo you come vnto the grounde of Tinguy, plentiful 
of Wheate, and of al things neceffary for fhipping. The people 
of thys countrey doe honour the IdoUes, and three dayes ioumey 

from this Citie you come vnto the Occean Sea: and at the fea fide there 

is greate plentie of falte. 


Of the Citie named Mangui, whiche haue vnder their 

Lordftiip feuenteene Cities, and of an other Citie named 

Saimphu which hath vnder it twelue Cities 

CHAPTER 94 [92] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. lx. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxun. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. Lxvm (second half)* 

Benedetto: Ch. cxlv] 

» Eyond Tinguy a dayes iorney towards the winde Siroco you 
come vnto a faire Countrie, and at the ende of it ftandeth a 
Citie named Manguy very fayre and greate, and there they 
honour the IdoUes, and fpeake the Perfian tong. This Citie 
hathe vnder it feauenteene Cities, and I marcus paulus 
did gouerne this vnder the great cane three yeares. To- 
ward the Occident or Weft ftandeth a prouince or Citie named Manguy, 
where they doe make greate plentie of cloth of Golde and filke. AHb 
there is greate plentie of corne, and of all manner of vidhialles. And 
beyonde this Citie ftandeth the Citie of Saimphu whiche hathe vnder it 
twelue Cities, whiche is the Citie that relifted it felfe agaynfte the power 
of the greate cane the fpace of three yeares. 

Howe this prouince was wonne 
by the great cane 

chapter 93 

[Marsdenx Bk. n. Ch. ixa (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxlv (abridged). 
Tide: Bk. n. Cfa. lxx (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxLvn (abridged)] 

^Fter that the great cane had wonne the prouince ofMangi, 
conquefted by induftry and councell of nicholao and 
MATHio and MARCUS paulus, as nowe you fhall perceiue 
in this prefent chapter: From the hofte of the greate cane 
I write vnto the greate cane, that that prouince by no 
manner of way coulde be wonne or taken, of the whiche 
newes the greate cane was fore abaftied, and we perceyuing his heauinefle, 
wee went vnto hym and fayde : PotentiJJimo and mightie Lord, receiue you 
no conceite nor heauinefle, for wee wil haue fuche means, that this pro- 
uince fliall come into youre hands: who beeing comforted with oure 
promife, gaue vs full power and libertie to doe all thofe things that vnto 
vs ftiould feeme befte, and that we flioulde be obeyed as to his owne 



proper perfon. And then I marcus paulus tooke vppon mee this 
charge, and gathered togither certaine Venetians that I founde in thofe 
Countries, being difcreete menne, and exercifed in feates of armes, and 
I caufed to be made three greate Trabuco or greate peeces of ordinaunce, 
whiche ftiotte a pellet of a thoufande pounde waighte, and hadde them 
vnto the campe, and planted them where they fhould be ftiotte off, and 
this done, by the meanes of thefe peeces I fhotte into the Citie greate 
pellettes, and when thofe of the Citie faw their houfes fall about their 
eares, by fuche meanes as they neuer faw nor hearde of before, they 
receyued great feare, and immediately they yeelded themfelues vnto the 
great cane. 

Of the Citie named Singuy, and of 
many other things 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. ucm (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cxlvi (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. lxxi (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxLvra (abridged)] 

)Oyng from Siamphu, and trauelling fifteene dayes ioumey 
towardes Syroco, or to the Eafte foutheaft, you come vnto 
the Citie named Singuy, wherevnto belongeth a greate 
number of fhips : and this Citie is fcituated vpon the greteft 
riuer of the world named Tuognrou which is .17. miles in 
breadth, and one hundred dayes iomey in length, and there is 
neuer a riuer in the worlde, where there fayleth fo manye fhippes with Mer- 
chaundizes, as there. And I marcus paulus was in this Citie, and did 
tell ftanding vpon a bridge at one time fine thoufande fhippes or barkes 
that failed vppon this riuer, and vppon this riuer there ftandeth two 
hundred Cities, being greater than this that we haue fpoken of. Thys 
riuer paffeth throughe fixeteene prouinces. 

The riuer 
the greateft 
riuer in the 

Fiue thoujad 
vejfels on this 


Of the Gitie named Cianguy 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. Lxrv. Pauthier: Bk. u. Ch. cxLvn. Tule: Bk. n. Ch. Lxxn. 
Benedetto: Ch. cxux] 

\Ianguy is a fmall Citie Handing vpon the faide riuer, it hath 
nothing vnder it but good ground, where they do gather plentie 
of corne, and rice, which is caried vnto Cambalu^ that the great 
CANE may haue greate plentie of vidualles in his Gourte. This 
Gitie ftandeth towardes the Siroco, and they doe carry this prouifion vnto 
Cambalu vpon this riuer, and not by fea. Therefore there commeth through 
this riuer greate profite vnto Cambalu, for it is better prouided with barkes 
than with cartes, or horfes. 

Of the Gitie named Pingramphu, and of many- 
other things that be in that Gountrey 

CHAPTER 98 [96] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. lxv, lxvi. Pauthier: Bk. n. Glis. cxlviii, cxux. 
Tule: Bk. 11. Chs. Lxxin, lxxiv. Benedetto: Chs. cl, cu] 

[ Ingramphu is a Gitie of the prouince Mangi, in the which there 
is two churches of Ghriftians Neftorians, edified by marsar 
CONOSTOR, which was Lord of that Gitie vnder the greate 
CANE, and it was in the yeare of oure Lord .1288. Whe 
you do go from Pingramphu, you goe three dayes iorney 
againfte Solano, whiche is Eafte and by South, throughe 
many Gities and Towns, where there is traffiqued muche merchaundizes, 
and many artes. At thefe three dayes iourneys ende ftandeth the citie of 
Tigningui, greate, riche, and abundant of all things to Hue vpon, and alfo 
of Wine. On a time certaine Ghriftian men named alanos tooke this 
citie, and that nighte they drunke fo much wine, that they were all 
drunke, and flepte like dogges al that nighte, and the Gitizens perceyuing 
that they were all afleepe, killed them, and barayn King of thefe 
ALANOS, affoone as he knewe this, gathered a great hofte, and went 
againft thys citie, and tooke it perforce, and caufed to be killed all thofe 
that he found in the citie, men, women and children, fmall and gret, in 
the reuenging of his Ghriftians. 



Of the Citie named Singuy, and of many- 
other things there 

CHAPTER 99 [97] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. Lxvn (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. CL (in part). 

Tule: Bk, 11. Ch. lxxv (in part), Benedetto: Ch. cui (in part)] 

Inguy is a very great and a noble citie whiche is .40. miles in 
compafTe. There is in this citie people innumerable, where 
you may beleeue, that if the people of Mangi were exercifed 
in the feate of warre, all the worlde coulde not winne it, 
but they be all Philofophers, Phifitions, Merchaunts and 
Artificers, very cunning in all artes. There be in this Citie 
.7000. bridges of (lone, very faire wroughte, and vnder any of thefe bridges 
there may rowe a Galley, and vnder fome twoo Galleys maye rowe to- 
gither. In the mountaines of this Citie groweth Rewbarbe greate plentie, 
and fo muche Ginger, that for fixe pence they doe giue more than fiue 
pound of Ginger. Vnder this Citie there be .17. Cities greate and fayre. 
In this Citie they do worke greate plentie of cloth of golde & filke, for 
that the Citizens there delighte muche to weare fuche cloth, and of many 

bridges of 
Plentie of 
Fiue pounde 
of Ginger for 
fixe pence. 

Of the Citie named Quinfajy, that is to fay, the Citie of 

Heauen, which is a hundred miles in compaffe, hauing 

twelue thoufand Bridges, and fourteene Bathes, 

and many other thinges of wonder 

CHAPTER 97 [98] 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Ch. lxviu. Sects, i, vi, vii, vm (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cu. 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. ucxvi. Berudetto: Ch. cxni] 

I Oing from Singuy, and traueling fiue dayes iorney, you come 
vnto a noble and famous Citie named Quinfay^ that is to fay, 
the citie of Heauen. This is the noblefl; Citie of the worlde, 
and the heade Citie of the prouince of Mangi. And I 
MARCUS PAULUS was in this citie, and did learne the 
cuftomes of it, and it was declared vnto me, that it was one 
hundred miles in compaffe, and . 1 2000. bridges of ftone with vaultes and 


The noble/I 
Citie of the 
worlde, it is 
an hundred 
miles cdpqffe. 
bridges of 


arches fo highe, that a greate fhippe migkte paffe vnder, and this Citie 
ftandeth vppon the water as Venice doth, and the people of this citie euery 
one of them muft vfe the fcience of his fathers, and of his predeceffors. In 
this Cittie there ftandeth a lake whiche is in compaffe thyrtie myles, and in 
this lake there is builte the faireft Pallaces that euer I faw: And in the 
mids of this lake ftandeth two Pallaces wherein they do celebrate all the 
weddings of that Citie, and euer there remayneth within them all the 
things neceflary whiche belong vnto the weddings. Alfo there is rounde 
aboute this Citie other Cities, but they be fmall ones. In this Citie they 
doe vfe money of Tartaria, to wit of a Mulbery tree, as it is vfed in the 
great canes Court, and as it is afore mentioned. Vppon euerye one of 
thefe .12000. bridges of ftone, continually there ftandeth watch and warde, 
bycaufe there ftiall be no euill done, and that the Citie doe not rebell. 
In this citie there is an highe mountaine, and vppon it there ftandeth a 
very highe Tower, and vppon it there is a thing to founde vppon, and it 
is founded when there is anye fyre or anye rumour in the Countrey. 
There is in this citie fourteene Bathes: and the great cane hath great 
watch and ward in this Citie. 

Of the Citie named Gaiifu 


[Marsden : Bk. n. Ch. Lxvin. Sects, i, vi, vn, viii (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cu. 
Tule : Bk. n. Ch. lxxvi. Benedetto : Ch. cun. (All continued)] 

^Eyonde Quinfay fifteene myles, bordereth the Occean fea between 
eaft and North, and there ftandeth a Citie named Ganfu^ which 
hath a fayre porte or hauen, and thyther come many fhips out 
of the Indias: between the Citie and the Sea, runneth a great riuer, that 
pafleth through many countries, and out that way there go many fhips 
vnto the fea. 


Of the diuifion which the great cane 
made of the prouince Mangi 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Gh. lxviii. Sect. x. Pauthier: Bk. n. Cb. cli (cent.). 
Tide: Bk. n. Ch. Lxxvi (cent.). Benedetto: Ch. cun (cent.)] 

I He prouince Mangi was diuided into .8. kingdomes, by the 
greate cane, and of euery kingdome there is aboute .140. 
Cities vnder a king. There is in all the prouince of Mangi 
.1202. Cities al fubie6l vnto the great cane, and al thofe 
whiche be borne in this prouince o^ Mangi, are written by 
dayes and houres, that the prouince may knowe the number 
of y people, and that they may not rebel. When they do goe on any 
iourney, they confult with the Aftrologers, and when any dieth, the 
parents do cloth the deade in Canuas, and burne the bodies with papers, 
wherevpon is paynted, mony, horfes, flaues, beaftes for their houfes, 
apparell, wyth all other things, for they doe faye that the deade vfeth all 
this in the other worlde, and that with the fmoke of the deade bodie, and 
of thofe papers, whereon there is paynted all thofe things rehearfed, be- 
leeuing, that it goeth all with him, into the other world, and when they 
burne thofe bodies, they ling and playe vpon al kinde of inftrumentes and 
muficke that they can finde, and faye, that in that order and pleafure, 
theyr Gods doe receyue them in the other worlde. In this Citie ftandeth 
the greate Pallace of EJlnofogi, which was Lorde and King of that pro- 
uince o^ Mangi. 

^ This Pallace is made after this wife, it is fquare and ftrongly walled, 
tenne myles in compaffe. It is high and fayre, with faire chambers, Hals, 
Gardens, fixiites, fountaines, and a lake with many fifhes. In this Pallace 
there is twentie Halles, wherin there may fitte downe at meales, twentie 
thoufand perfons: by this it may be comprehended how bigge this Citie 
is. In this Citie there is a famous Churche or Temple of Chriftians 
Neftorians, and euerye one that dwelleth in this Citie hath written his 
name, and of his wife. Children, menne feruauntes, and women feruauntes, 
and horfes that he hath in hys houfe, ouer the Porch of his doore. Alfo 
when there is anye that goeth to another Citie, it behoueth that the 
Inholders that lodge ftraungers, doe bryng a Regifter vnto the officers 
appoynted, giuyng relation howe long they doe remayne, and when they 
goe away. 


Of the rent which the great cane hath 
of the prouince of Qujynfay 


[Marsdm: Bk. n. Gh. lxdc (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. cui (abridged). 
TuU: Bk. n. Ch. lxxvui (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cliv (abridged)] 

|Eing I haue declared vnto you of the City and prouince of 
Quinfay, now I wil declare you what rent the greate cane hath 
yqarely, out of this prouince only, of the fait euery yere .4500. 
Hanegs or buftiels of Gold, and to euery meafure goeth . 1 8000. 
Sazos, and euery Sazo of Gold is worth feauen Duckets, and of the other 
rentes ouer and aboue the falte he hath euerye yeare .10000. hanegs of 

Of the Citie named Thampinguy, and of 
many other maruellous things 

chapter loa 

[Marsden: Bk. n. Chs. lxx, lxxi, Lxxn (in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. CLin (in part). 
Tule: Bk. n. Ch. Lxxix (in part). Benedetto: Ch. clv (in part)] 

)Oing from Quinfay, trauelling towardes Solano a dayes 
ioumey, you do goe by Cities and townes, and manye 
Gardens, and at the ende you come vnto the Citie named 
Thampinguy, which is faire and gret hauing abundaunce of 
all things, and it is vnder the Seigniorie of -^ greate cane: 
the people are Idolaters, and palTmg other .3. days ioumey, 
you come vnto an other citie named Vguy, & going two days iourney 
beyond, towards Salano, or eaft and by South, there is fo many Cities & 
townes y he that trauelleth, thinketh that he neuer goeth out of townes, 
& there is great plentie of all prouifion, here is Canes great and thicke 
of foure fpannes in compaffe, and fifteene in length. At two ioumeys ende 
ftandeth the Citie named Greguy verye noble and greate, hauing abound- 
ance of all things needeful. The people are Idolatours, and vnder the 
greate cane. And going from this Citie three dayes iourney towarde 
Solano, you Ihall finde many Cities and townes, and many Lyons. The 
people do kill them in this manner, the man doth put of his hofen, and 
apparell, and putteth on a weede of Canuas, carriyng a certaine thing 


pitched, vpon his Ihoulders, and carrieth a fharpe knife in his handes with ^^j^'^ 
a pointe, and in this manner he goeth vnto the Lions denne, and as the kutfuiions. 
Lion feeth him come, he maketh towards him, and the man when he is 
neare cafteth vnto him the pitched thyng whyche hee hath vpon his 
fhoulders. The Lyon taketh it in hys mouthe, thinking that he hath the 
manne, and then the man doth wounde him with the fharpe poynted 
knife, and as foone as the Lyon feeleth hymfelfe hurt he runneth away, 
and as foone as the colde entereth into the wounde he dyeth. In this 
maner they do kill many Lyons in that countrey, whych is of the prouince 
of Mangi. 

Of the Citie named Cinaugnary, and of many other 

noble Cities, and of the cruelty of the people 

that inhabit there, and of other things 

CHAPTER loi [103] 

[Marsden: Bk. 11. Chs. lxxii, Lxxin, lxxiv, lxxv (all in part). Pauthier: Bk. n. Chs. cuii (in part), 
CLTV. Tide: Bk. n. Chs. lxxdc (in part), lxxx. Benedetto: Chs. clv (in part), CLVi] 

(RauelHng forward foure dayes iourney you come vnto a 
citie named Cinaugnary, a great and a famous Citie Handing 
vppon a Mountayne, which parteth a riuer into two partes, 
and trauelling foure dayes iourney forwarder you come vnto 
'a Citie named Signy, whiche is vnder the fegniorie of 
Quinfay. And after you enter into the Realme oiFuguy, and 
traueUing forward fixe dayes iourney towardes Solano, or Eaft, and by 
South, through mountaynes and valleys, you fhall finde many Cities and 
Townes, hauing plenty of all viduals, and fmgular for Hunting and 
Hawking, and plenty of fpices, and fuger fo plenty, that you may buy 
forty pound of Suger for a Venice groate. There groweth a certayne Goodcheape 
fweete fruite like vnto Saffron, and they vfe it in fkead of Saffron. The "^^' 
people of this Countrey eate mans flefh, fo that he dye not of naturall 
death. When the people of this Countrey go vnto the warres, they doe 
make certayne fignes in their forheads, to be the better knowen : and they 
go all on foote, except their Lorde, who rideth on Horfebacke. They are 
very cruell people, and vfe the fpeare and fword. They do eate the flefhe 
of thofe men that they kill, and drinke their bloud. In the middes of thefe 
fixe dayes iourney, ftandeth the Citie named Belimpha, whiche hath foure 
bridges of marble, with very fayre pillers of marble. Euery bridge of thefe 

Fare mm 

and women 


Blacke Hem 




A Riuer of 

feaiten mile 


There be 

many Skips 



is a mile in length, <2? nine paces in breadth. Vnto this Citie there com- 
meth great plenty of Spices. Alfo, there is in thys Citie very faire men, 
and more fayre women, and there be blacke Hennes, and fatte without 
feathers, and verye j)erfed to eate. In this countrey there be Lions, and 
other wilde & periUous beafts, fo y they trauel in this cuntrey in great 
feare. At thefe fixe dayes iourneys ende, ftandeth the Citie named VgucOy 
where there is made great plentye of fuger, which is all carried vnto the 
great canes court. 

Of the Citie named Friguy, and of manie other 
maruellous things which be there 


[Marsden'. Bk. n. Gh. lxxvi. Pauthier: Bk. n. Ch. clv. Ttde: Bk. n. Gh. lxxxi. 
Benedetto'. Ch. CLvn] 

J Afling out of the Citie of Vgucu, and trauelling fifteene miles, you 
come vnto the Citie named Friguy, which is the head of f Realme 
of Tonca, which is one of the nyne Kingdomes of Mangi. Through 
the middeft of this Citie runneth a Riuer of feauen miles in 
And in this Citie there be made manye Ships, and is laden 
greate plentie of Spices, and diuers other Merchandizes that is gathered 
neere to that Riuer, and Precious ftones whiche be broughte out of India 
maior. This Citie ftandeth very neere vnto the Occean Seas, and hath 
abundance of all kind of viduals, or any thyng elfe needefuU. 


Of the Citie named laython^ and of 
many other things 


[Marsden: Bk. n. Gh. lxxvii (abridged). Pauthier-. Bk. n. Gh. CLVi (abridged). 
Tule-. Bk. II. Ch. lxxxii (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. CLvni (abridged)] 

lOing from Quinfay, and pafling the fayd Riuer, trauelling 

fyue dayes iourney towardes Solano, or Eaft, and by South, 

you find many Cities and Townes, hauing abundance of all 

viduals. And at the ende of thefe fyue dayes iourney. 

This Citie ^^.^t^jW^^dX ft^^ndeth a great and a faire City named laython, whiche 

hath the befi e^g::^^^^®^ hath a sfood Hauen, and thither come many Shippes from 

Hauentnthe ^ °,, , ^.r^ 1 i • • r 1 1 n tt 

«ww. the IndyeSy with many Merchandifes, and this is one ot the belt Hauens 


that is in the world, and there commeth Shippes vnto it in fuch quantitie, 
that for one Shippe that commeth vnto Alexandria, there commeth .100. 
vnto it. The great cane hathe great cuftome for Merchandifes, in and 
out of that Hauen, for the Ship that commeth thither, payeth tenne in 
the hundred for cuftome, and of Precious ftones and fpices, and of any 
other kind of fine wares, they pay thirtie in the hundred: and of Pepper 
.44. of the hundred, fo that the Merchants in freight, tribute, and cuftomes, 
pay the one halfe of their goodes. In this Countrey and Gitie there is great 
abundance of viduals. 

For one Shippt 
that commeth 
fo Alexandria, 
there commeth 
hither a 

Great cuftome 
is payd heere. 

Of the Ilande named Ciampagu, and of things which be found 
there, and how the great cane would conquer it 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Chs. n, in, rv (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. m. Chs. CLVin, cux, clx (abridged). 
Tide: Bk. in. Chs. n, in, rv (abridged). Benedetto: Chs. clx, clxi, CLxn (abridged)] 

Will paffe from hence vnto the Coun treys of India, where I 
MARCUS PAULUS dweltc a long time: and although the 
things which I will declare, feeme not to be beleeued of 
them that fhall heare it, but haue it in a certaynetie and of 
a truth, for that I fa we it all with mine owne eyes. And 
now I will beginne of the Hand named Ciampagu, whiche 
ftandeth in the high Sea towardes the Orient, and it is feparated fi-om the 
mayne land .1500. miles. The people of this Countrey are fayre, and of 
good maners, although they be all Idolaters. There is in thys Hand a 
King franke and free, for he payeth no tribute at all to any Prince. The 
people of this Countrey fpeake the Perfian tong. And there is found in 
this Hand great plenty of golde, and they neuer haue it forthe vnto anye 
place out of the Ilande, for that there commeth thyther fewe Shyppes, 
and httle Merchandife. The Kyng of thys Ilande hathe a maruellous fayre 
and great Pallace, all couered with golde in pafte, of the thickneffe of a 
peece of two Ryals of plate. And the windowes and pillers of this Pallace 
bee all of golde. Alfo there is greate plenty of precious ftones. And the 
great cane knowing of the greate fame and riches of this Hand, deter- 
mined to conquere it, and caufed to be made great prouifion of munition 
and vittayles, and a greate number of Shippes, and in them he put many 
Horfemen and footemen, and fent them vnder the gouemance of two of 
his Captaynes, the one was named a bat an, and the other vonsaucin, 


The Jland of 
Ciampagu is 
fifteene hundred 
miles from the 
mayne lande. 

In this Iland 
is great plenty 
of golde. 

The Kings 
Pallace is 
couered wyth 
cleane golde. 
The windowes 
and pillers 
thereof is golde. 
Great plenty of 
Precious Jlones. 



Men hauing 

Jiones that 

were inchanted, 

could not be 

Jlaine with 

weapons of 

iron, but with 


The Citie 

taken by a 



and thefe two went with this great armie from the Hauen of laython and 
of Glun/ay, and they went vnto the Hand Ciampagu, where they went 
alande, and hauing done great hurt in Mountaynes and valleys, there 
entred fuche enuie and hatred betweene thefe two Captaynes, and fo 
much difcord, that loke what the one would haue done, the other did 
againe fay it, and through this meanes they toke neyther Citie nor Towne, 
but only one, and they killed all them that they founde therein, for that 
they would not yeeld, fauing eyght men, whyche could not be killed with 
any iron, for that eache of them had a precious flone enchanted in his 
righte arme, betweene the flelhe and the Ikynne, and thefe ftones did 
defend the from death to be killed with yron, and knowing of it, thefe 
two Captaynes procured to kill thefe eyghte men with clubs of wodde, 
and toke thofe ftones for them felues, and in that inftant there arofe fuche 
a tempeft of wind of Septentrion or North fo terrible, and doubting that 
their Shippes would breake, they hoyfed vp Sayle, and went vnto another 
Hand, tenne miles diftant off fro this, and the wind was fo terrible, that 
it opened many of their Ships, and manye were forced to make backe 
towards their owne Countrey againe, and about .30000. of them fledde 
by land, of thefe they thought that they were all killed. And as foone as 
it was caulme on the Sea, the King of this Hand which had bin fo fpoyled, 
wente with a great armie of Shippes vnto the other Hande, where as they 
were gone to haue taken them that were fledde, and as foone as hee was 
on lande with his men, the tartares like wife and politike men, retired 
backe by the Hande, and went vnto the Shyppes of this King whiche 
they had lefte without ftrength, entred in, hoyfed vp the Sayles, with the 
Auncientes and Flagges of that King, whiche they left behinde in the 
Hande, and fayled vnto the firft Hand, where they were receyued, and 
the gates opened, thinking it had bin their owne King. And in thys 
manner the tartares tooke that Citie, wherein the King had his 
habitation, and ranfacked it. And as foone as the King of this Hande 
knewe of it, he caufed many other Shippes to be prepared, and with the 
men that hee had, and many other that hee tooke of new, enuironed his 
proper Citie, hauyng it befeeged feauen moneths. And finallye the aboue- 
fayd tartares hopyng for no fuccoure, delyuered vp the Citie vnto the 
right King, conditionally to let them go with their Hues, bagge and 
baggage, Thys hapned in the yeare of our Lorde .1248. In this Hande 
there bee Idols, that fome haue heads like Wolues, fome heads like 
Hogges, fome like Sheepe, fome like Dogs, fome haue one head and foure 
faces, fome three heads, hauing one only necke, and onely one right hande, 
fome haue onely one lefte hande, fome haue foure handes, and fome tenne, 



and the Idoll that hath moft handes, is taken to be the moft beautifull: 
and to him that demaundeth of them, wherefore they haue fo many Idols, 
they doe gyue no other reafon, fauing that fo did their predeceflbrs. Whe 
the people of this Hand do take in battell any ftranger, if he doe not 
raunfome himfelfe for money, they kill him, drinke his bloud, and eate 
his flefh. This Ilande is enuironed round about with the Occean fea. The 
portes are free for themfelues. The Marriners which vfe that Sea, fay, that 
there is in it .7448. Handes. There is no tree there, but he is of a fweete 
odoure, frutefuU, and of greate profite. In this Hand groweth the white 
Pepper. From the Prouince of Mangi vnto the India and home, is a yeares 
fayling, the reafon is, for that there raygneth tvvo ftedfaft windes, the one 
in the winter, and the other in the Sommer, contrary the one vnto the 

In this Sea is 
.7448. Hands, 
whiche be 
verye frutefuU 
arid pleaf ant. 
Heere groweth 
whyte Pepper. 

Of the Prouince named Ciabane, and of that King, who 

hath .325. fonnes and daughters of his owne. There 

be many Elephants and much fpices 

[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. vi. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. clxi. Tule: Bk. ni. Ch. v. Benedetto'. Ch. CLxni] 

^Hen you do go from laython, whych is vnder the fegniorie of 
the greate cane towardes the Occidente, and fomewhat 
declining towarde the midday fiue dayes iourney, you come 
vnto a Countrey named Cyaban, wherein there is a Citie 
riche, great, and famous, fubied vnto a King that he and 
his fubieds fpeake the Perfian tong. And in the yeare of 
Lord .1248. the greate cane fente thither a great Baron, named 
SAGATO, with a greate armie, to conquere that Prouince, and hee coulde 
do nothing, but deftroy muche of that Countrey, and for that he fhould 
do no more hurt, that King became tributarie vnto the greate cane, and 
euery yeare he fente him his tribute. And I marcus paulus was in this 
countrey in the yeare of our Lord .1275. ^^^ I found this King very olde. 
He had many wiues, and amongft fonnes and daughters he had .325. 
Among his fonnes he hadde .25. of them that were very valiante men of 
armes. In thys Countrey there be many Elephants and Lyons greate 
plenty, and great Mountaynes of blacke Ebbanie. 


This King 
had .325. 


Of the great Hand named laua, and of many 
Spices that grow there 

[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. vn. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. CLxn. Tide: Bk. in, Ch. vi. Benedetto: Ch. cuav] 

;Omg from Ciahan, fayhng betweene the midday and Solano ^ or 

Eaft and by South .1400. miles, you come vnto a greate Ilande 

named laua, whiche is in compaffe three thoufand miles. In this 

Hand, there be feauen crowned Kings free, paying no tribute at 

A very riche all. In this Ilaude there is great abundance of viduals, and greate riches, 

^^i^^S hauing very muche Pepper, Cinamon, Clones, and many other fmgular 

great pientye. Spiccs in great quautitic. The people do honour the Idols. The great cane 

could neuer mstke himfelfe Lord of it. 

Of the Hand named locath, and of other two Hands, 
their conditions and properties 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. vm. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. CLxni. Tide: Bk. in. Ch. vn. 
Benedetto: Ch. clxv] 

) Ay ling feauenteene myles from laua, betweene the midday 
and Solano^ or Eaft and by South, you come vnto two 
Hands, the one is named Sondure, and the other Condur. And 
beyond thefe two Hands almoft two hundreth miles, ftan- 
deth the Countrey named locathe, great and rich. They 
fpeake the Perfian tong, and worlhip Idols. They pay no 
kinde of tribute to any man, for there is no man that can do them hurt. 
Heere is found There is fouud greate pientye of gold, and a greate number of the fmall 
entieofgoide. ^y^.^ fj^gjg of the Sca, whychc is vfed in fome places in ftead of money, 
as before it is rehearfed. Alfo, there be many Elephantes. 
^ Vnto this Ilande there commeth very fewe Strangers, for that it 
ftandeth out of the way. 


Of the Kingdome named Malenir, and of the Ilande named 
Pentera, and of laua the leffe, and of their cuftomes 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Ghs. ix, x. Pauthier: Bk. m. Chs. clxiv, clxv (in part). 
Title: Bk. m. Chs. vin, ix (in part). Benedetto: Ghs. clxvi, cucvn (in part)] 

jAyhng beyond locath hue miles towardes the midday, you 
come vnto the Hand named Penthera, full of Mountaynes. 
And in the middes of this Hand, about forty miles, there is 
but foure paffes of water, therefore the great Shippes do take 
off their Rudders : and being pafl thefe fiue miles towards 
the midday, you come vnto a Realme named Malenir. The 
Citie and the Hand is named Pepetkan, where there is plentie of Spices. 
And going forwarde, fayling by Solano, or Eafl, and by South a hundred 
miles, yOu come vnto the Ilande named laua the leffe, which is in compaffe 
two hundred miles. In this Hand there is eyghte Kings, euery one hauing 
his Kyngdome by himfelfe. They doe all fpeake the Perfian tong, and 
honour Idols. They haue fcant of viduals. From this Ilande you can not 
fee the North Starre Httle nor muche. Beyonde it flandeth the Realme of 
Ferlech. The people are Moores. They do honor martin piniolo, which 
is Mahomet. There dwell others in the Mountaynes that haue no kind of 
law. They doe hue as beafles, honouring the firfl thing that they do fee 
in the morning, as their God. They doe eate all kinde of dead flefhe, and 
the flefh of man, caring not howe, nor yet after what forte it dyeth. 

Of the realme named BaJJina, and of the Vnicornes, 
and other wilde beafles 

chapter III 

[Marsden: Bk. in. Chs. xi, xn. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. clxv (in part). Tide: Bk. in. Gh. nc (in part). 

Benedetto: Gh. CLXvn (in part)] 

I Oing from Ferlech you come vnto ^ realme of Bajfyna, wher 
the people are widiout law, huing as beafles, being fubied 
at their will vnder the gret cane, although they do giue 
him no tribute, fauing, that at fometimes when it pleafeth 
them they do fende vnto him fome flrSge thing. In this 
realme there be Apes of diuerfe forts, and Unicomes, Htde 
leffe than Elephants, hauing a head hke vnto a fwyne, and alwayes 


hanging it downward to the grounde, and ftandeth with a good will in 
Cieno or miery puddel. They haue but one home in their forehead, wher- 
by only they are called Unicornes, theyr home is large and blacke, their 
tong is rough and full of prickles long and thicke. The Apes of this country 
are fmall, hauing a face like vnto a childe, and thofe in that countrey do 
flaye them, fo that they looke like vnto a naked childe. They feeth it, and 
dreffe it with fweete fpices, fo that they haue no euil ayre nor ftrong fent, 
and fo fodden, they doe fende them aboute in the worlde to fell, faying 
they be fodden children. In this countrey there be haukes as blacke as 
Rauens, very ftrong and good to hauke with. 

Of the realme named Samara, and of many ftraunge 
things that are founde in the fayd countrey 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Chs. xni, xiv. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. clxv (in part). Title: Bk. iii. Ch. x. 
Benedetto: Chs. CLXVin, CLxrx] 

Oing from the Realme of Baxina, you enter into the realme 
of Samara beyng in this fame Hand, where I marcus 
PAULUS was hue moneths, by fortune of weather, and for 
feare of the euill people of that countrey, for the moft parte 
there liueth vppon mans flefhe. From hence, you fee not the 
North ftarre, nor yet the other ftars that rule the principal 
winde, the people there are ruftical and worlhippe Idols, there is fmgular 
good fifh, they haue no wine, but they get it in this wife. They haue 
manye trees like vnto the paulme tree, they breake the braunches and from 
them commeth water, as it commeth from the vyne. This licour is white and 
redde like vnto Wine, beeing very perfedl to drinke, there is great plentie 
of it. Another realme there is in this Hand, which is named Deragoya, the 
people are rufticall, and worfhip Idols. They haue no king, and fpeake the 
Perjian fpeach. In this Hand there groweth great plentie of the Indian nuts. 
They haue this cuftome in this Hand, that when any falleth ficke, his 
kinffolke demaunde of them if the patient fhall liue or dy. Then thefe 
maifters make Diuellifh inchauntments, if they fay that he Ihall efcape, 
they let him lye, and if they fay that he fhall dye, they sende for the 
Butchers, whiche ftoppe his breath till he dye, and when he is deade, 
they feeth the bodie, and the parents eate the flefh, and kepe his bones 
in a cheft. Thys they do, faying, if the wormes had eaten the flefhe they 


ftiould die for hunger, and the foule of the deade bodie flioulde fuffer 
greate penurie in the other world. They do hide this cheft with the bones, 
in a caue of the mountaines, fo that it maye not be founde. All the 
ftraungers that they doe finde, they kil and eate them, if they be not 
ranfomed for money as foone as they take them. 

Of the Kingdome named Lambry, and of the flraunge 

things there founde, and of the realme Samphur, 

and of the things founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Chs. xv, xvi. Pauthier: Bk. ni. Ch. clxv (in part). 
Tule: Bk. m. Ch. xi. Benedetto: Chs. clxx, clxxi] 

[Ambry is another realme in this Ilande, where there is great 
plentie of fpices. The people are Idolaters. In this realme there 
be men that haue feathers about their priuities, great and bigge, 
and of the length of a goofe quill. The fift realme of this Hand 
laua is named Samphur, where there is found the beft Camphore that is in 
the world, and it is folde for the waight of gold: here they do vfe the Wine 
of trees. In this prouince there is a kinde of great tree, and it hath a very 
thinne ryne, and vnder the ryne it is full of fmgular meale, and of thys 
meale they do make perfed meats, of the which I marcus paulus did 
eat many times. 

Of two Ilandes, and of the euill liuing 
and beaftlyneffe of the people 

chapter 114 

[Marsden: Bk. in. Chs. xvii, xvni. Pauthier: Bk. m. Chs. clxvi, clxvu. Ttde: Bk. in. Chs. xii, xin. 

Benedetto: Chs. CLXxn, CLXxm] 

Oing from Lambry fayling .140. myles towardes the North, 
you come vnto two Hands, the one is named Mecumea, and 
the other Nangania. The people oi Necumea, hue like beaftes, 
the men and women go naked, couering no part of their 
fecrets: they do vfe carnallye like beafts or dogs in the 
ftreets, or wherefoeuer they doe finde, without any fhame 
at all, hauing no difference, nor regard, the father vnto the daughter, nor 
the fonne vnto y mother, more than vnto another woman, but euery one 


doth as he lufteth or may. Here there be mountaines of Sandolos or 
Saflders, and of nuts of India, and of Gardamonia, and many other fpyces. 
Nangama is the other Ilande, it is fayre and great. The people therof are 
Idolaters, they liue beaftly, and eate mens flefh, they are very cruel, they 
haue heades lyke great Maftie dogges, and the men and women haue 
t^eth like dogs. In this Ilande there is great plentie of fpices. 

Of the Hand Saylauy and many noble 
things which be founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xrx. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. CLxvin (first part only). 
Tule: Bk. m. Ch. xrv (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cucxiv (abridged)] 

)Fter that you go from Nangana, you go towarde the Occident, 
1 and declynyng againft Arbyno about ten hundred myles, you 
come vnto the Hand of Saylan, whiche is the befte and the 
greateft Hand in the world, being in compaffe thirtie 
thoufand myles. In this Hand there is a very rich king, the 
people are Idolatours, and they goe all naked in this Ilande, 
fauing that they do weare a linnen cloth before their fecretes. There is 
great plentie of Rice and of cattel, and of the Wyne of trees. In this 
Hand are founde the bell Rubies, that bee in the worlde, and they be 
founde in no other place than here. And here there be foimde manye 
precious ftones, as Topafes, Amatiftes, and of diuerfe other kindes. Thys 
king hath the faireft Rubie in the world, the length of a fpanne, and is as 
thicke as ones arme, as redde as fire, gliftering without any blemmifh. 
The men of this countrey are wonderfull leacherous, and they are worth 
nothing for the warres. 


Of the prouince named Moabar, wherin there be fiue kingdomes, 
and of the noble things that be founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Gh. xx. Sects. 1, n, ni, iv (in part). Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. cioax (abridged). 
Tide: Bk. m. Chs. xvi (in part), xvu. Benedetto: Ch. clxxv (in part)] 

jAfling from thys fayde place, and trauelling towardes the 
Occident fortie myles, you come vnto a greate prouince 
named Moabar in the great India. This is the greateft and 
the beft prouince that is in ^ world, Handing in the firme 
land, being an excellent region. There is in thys prouince, 
Margarites verye fayre and great. This prouince is diuided 
into fiue kingdomes, wherevpon raigneth fiue brethren legitimate. In the 
firft beginning of this prouince ftandeth the firfte kingdome gouerned by 
one of thofe fiue brethren, named sendarba, and is entituled as king of 
J{or, here is fine great pearles, in great number. This king hath the tenth 
of all ^ pearls whych are founde in his kingdome. The fifhermen do fifti 
thefe pearles, from the beginning of April, vntiU the middeft of May, in 
a gulfe of the Sea, where there is greate plentie of them, they are founde 
in the Oyfters. The men and women of this realme goe all naked, fauing 
that they do weare a certaine cloth to couer theyr priuities. Alfo the 
king goeth naked, and to be knowen, he weareth about his necke a lace 
full of precious ftones, whyche are in number a hundereth & foure, in the 
remembrance of a hundreth & foure prayers, that he vfeth to fay in the 
honour of his gods morning and euening, and on his armes, legges, feete, 
and teeth, he weareth fo manye precious Stones, that tenne riche Cities 
be not able to paye for them. 

^ This king hath fiue hundreth wiues, and one of them he toke from his 
brother. In this realme there be verye faire women of themfelues : alfo 
they do vfe paynting, fetting more beautie vnto their faces and on their 
bodies. Thys king hath alwayes a greate companie with him, to ferue 
him : when the king dyeth they burne his bodye, and with him of their 
owne voluntarie wiUes, all thofe that accompanied and ferued him in his 
life time, leape into the fire, and burne themfelues with him, faying, that 
they do go to beare their king companie in ^ other world, and liue as they 
did here in this worlde. Yerely this King buyeth tenne thoufande horfes 
of the countrey named CormoSj at the price of fiue ounces of gold euery 
horfe, fome more, fome leffe, according vnto the goodneffe and beautie 
of the horfe. The merchaunts of Qjiinfqyj of Suffer , and of BedeUy fell thofe 


horfes vnto the merchauntes of this realme. Thefe horfes lyue not in this 
prouince aboue one yeare: by this meanes that king confumeth a greate 
part of his treafure in horfes. In this countrey they doe vfe this cuftome, 
that is, when a man is condemned to dy, he is begged of the Prince that 
he maye kill himfelfe, and when they haue obtayned the kings good will, 
he killeth himfelfe, in the loue and honour of his Idols. After thys wife, 
hauing obtayned the kings grace and fauour, the wife of this malefadour 
and kinred, taketh him, tying about his necke twelue kniues, and in this 
manner he is carried by them vnto a place of iuftice, where he crieth as 
lowde as he may, faying, I doe kill my felfe in the honour and for the 
loue of fuche an Idoll, and with one of thofe kniues flriketh himfelfe, and 
then with another, vntyll fuch time as he falleth downe deade : this done, 
hys parents with great ioye and gladneffe burne the dead body, thinking 
that he is happy. In this countrey euerye man hath as many wiues as he 
is able to maintain : whe "y hufbande dyeth, according vnto their cuftome, 
his bodie is burnt, and his wiues of their owne free willes burne themfelues 
with him, and fhee that leapeth firfte into the fire, the beholders take hir 
to be the beft. They are all Idolaturs, and for the more part of them, wor- 
fhip the Oxe, faying, he is a Saind, for that he laboureth and tilleth the 
grounde, where the corne growth, and fo by no manner of meanes they 
will eate anye kinde of Oxe flefhe, nor yet for all the golde in the world, 
will they kill an Oxe, and when any Oxe dyeth, with his tallow they do 
rubbe al the infides of their houfes. 

^ Thefe people defcende of thofe that killed saint thomas the Apoftle, 
and none of them can enter into sainct thomas Churche, whiche he 
edified in that countrey: befides this, if one will prefume to enter into the 
Temple, he falleth ftreight deade. It hath bene proued oftentimes, that 
fome of them would enter perforce into the Church, and it hath not bin 
poflible for them to doe it. The king and thofe of this prouince eate 
alwayes vpon the ground, and if it be demaunded of them by queftion 
why they doe fo, they doe aunfweare, for that they doe come of the earth, 
and to the earth they mufte, and they cannot doe fo much honour vnto 
the Earth as is worthy. In thys prouince there groweth nothing elfe but 
Rice: thefe people go naked vnto the warres, hauing no other weapon 
but fpeare and Ihield, and they kill no wilde beaftes at all for their eating, 
but they caufe fome other that is not of their lawe to kill them. All the 
men and women do wafh themfelues twice aday, morning, and euening, 
for otherwife they dare neyther eate nor drinke, and he that fhould not 
kepe this vfe among them, fhoulde be reputed to bee an Hereticke: and 
they do walhe themfelues in thys manner, as we haue rehearfed : they goe 


all naked, and fo they go vnto the riuer, and take of the water, and powre 
it vpon their heads, and then one doth helpe to wafhe another. They are 
good men of warre, and verye fewe of them drinke wine, and thofe that 
doe drinke it, are not taken to be as a witneffe, nor yet thofe that go vnto 
the Sea, faying, that the Marriners are dronkards. They are defperate 
men, and efteeme lecherie to be no fmne. This countrey is intollerable 
hote, and the boyes go altogither naked. It neuer rayneth in that Coun- 
trey, fauing in lune, luly, and Auguft. In this Region there be many 
Philofophers, and many that vfe Negromancie, and verye manie of them 
that tell fortunes. There be Hawkes as blacke as Rauens, bigger than ours, 
and good to kill the game. Alfo, there be Owles as bigge as Hennes, that 
flye in the ayre all night. Many of thofe men doe offer their children vnto 
thofe Idols that they haue moll refped vnto, and when they worfhip and 
feaft thofe Idols, they do caufe to come before them, all the yong men and 
maydes, whiche are offered vnto them, and they doe fmg and daunce 
before the Idols, and this done, they do caufe their meate to be broughte 
thither, and they doe eate the flefh, faying, that the fmell of the flefh 
filleth the Idols. 

Of the Realme named Mufufy, where there be found 

Adamants, and many Serpents, and of the manners 

of thofe in that Countrey 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Chs. xx. Sect, iv (in part), xxi (abridged). Pauthier: Bk. iii. Chs. clxx, 
CLXXi (abridged). Tule: Bk. m. Ch. xviii and few lines of Ch. xix. Benedetto: Chs. clxxvi, 
CLXXvn (a few lines only)] 

VJuly is a Region that ftandeth beyonde Moabar, trauelling 
towards Septentrion which is the North .1000. miles. The 
people of this Realme worfhip Idols. And in the Moun- 
taynes of this Countrey, there be found fine Adamants. 
And after they haue had muche rayne, the men goe to 
' feeke them in the ftreames that runne from the Mountaynes, 
and fo they do find the Adamants, whiche are brought from the Moun- 
taynes in Sommer when the dayes are long. Alfo, there be ftrong Serpents 
and great, very venemous, feeming that they were fette there to keepe the 
Adamantes that they might not be taken away, and in no parte of the 
world there is found fine Adamants but there. There be in this Countrey 
the biggeft Sheepe in the worlde. And in the Prouince of Moabar afore- 


named, lyeth the body of the Apoftle sainct thomas, buryed in a fmall 
Citie, whither there goeth but few Merchants, for that it ftandeth farre 
from the Sea. There dwell manye Chriftians and Moores, hauing great 
reuerence vnto the body of sainct thomas, for they doe beleeue and 
fay, that he was a Moore, and a great Prophet, and they do call him 
THOMAS DAUANA, which is to fay, a holy man. The Chriftians that go on 
Pilgrimage to vifit the body ofsAiNCTE thomas, take of that earth where 
he was martired, and when any falleth ficke, they doe giue him of it to 
drinke, with wine and water. In the yeare of our Lorde .1297. it chanced 
there to be a miracle in this wife : A Knight gathered fo much Rice, that 
he had no place to put it in, but put it into a houfe of sainct thomas, 
and the Chriftian men defired him not to pefter the holy Apoftles houfe 
with his Rice, where the Pilgrims did lodge, yet the Knighte would not 
heare them, and the fame night, the fpirite of sainct thomas appeared 
with a Gallowes of iron in his hande, putting it aboute the Knightes 
necke, and fayde. If thou caufe not thy Rice to be taken out of the houfe 
of sainct THOMAS, I will hang thee. This miracle the Knight told with 
his owne mouth, vnto all the people of that Countrey, and forthwith the 
Chriftians rendred hartie thankes to the holy Apoftle, who dothe many 
miracles on the Chriftians that committe themfelues deuoutely vnto him : 
All the people of this Countrey be blacke, not bycaufe they be fo borne, 
but for that they woulde be blacke, they annoynt themfelues with a kind 
of oyle, called oyle of Aioniolly^ for the blackeft are efteemed moft fayre. 
Alfo, the people of this Countrey caufe their Idols to be paynted blacke, 
and the Diuels to be painted white, faying, that God and his Saindes are 
blacke, and the Diuels white. When they of this Countrey go on warfare, 
they weare hattes vpon their heads, made of the hides of wild Oxen, and 
vpon their fliieldes. And to the feete of their Horfes, they faften the heares 
of an Oxe, faying, that Oxen heares be holy, and haue thys vertue, that 
whofoeuer carieth of them aboute him, can receyue no hurt nor danger. 


Of the Prouince Lahe, and of the vertue 
that is in the people 


[Marsdm: Bk. m. Ch. xxn. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. CLXxn. YuUx Bk. in. Ch. xx. 
Benedetto: Ch. cLXXvm] 

lOing from that Towne of saingt thomas towardes the 
Occidente, you come vnto a Prouince named Lahe^ and 
there dwell the men named Bragmanos, which are the tnieft 
men in the world. They will not lye for all the worlde, nor 
yet confent vnto any falfehoode for all the world. They are 
very chaft people, being contented only with one woman 
or wife. They neuer drinke wine, and by no manner of meanes they will 
take another mans goodes, nor will eate flefhe, nor kill any kinde of beaft 
for all the world. They do honour the Idols, and haue much vnderftanding 
in the arte of Fortunes. Before they doe conclude anye greate bargayne, 
and before they doe anye thing of importance, firfte they doe confider 
theyr fhadowe agaynfte the Sunne, whereby they iudge the thyng that 
they mufte doe by certayne rules which they haue deputed for it. They 
doe eate and drinke temperately. They are neuer let bloud, therefore they 
be very wife. In this Countrey there be many reUgious men, which are 
named Cingnos, and Hue a hundred and fiftie yeares, for their greate 
abftinence and good Uuing. In this Countrey there be alfo certayne re- 
Ugious men Idolaters, who goe altogither naked, couering no part of their 
body, faying, that of themfelues they be pure and cleane from all finne. 
Thefe doe worlhip the Oxe. Thefe religious men weare cache of them 
vppon his forhead an Oxe made in mettall. They do oynt all their bodie 
with an oyntment, which they make with great reuerence of the marou of 
an Oxe. They do neyther eate in difhes, nor vppon trenchers, but vppon 
the leaues of the Apple tree of Paradife, and other drye leaues, and not 
greene by no manner of meanes, for they faye, that the greene leafe hath 
life and foule. They do fleepe naked vppon the ground. 


Of the Kingdome named Orbay, and of many things and ftrange 
beaftes found there, and of their beaftly liuing 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xxv. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. clxxiv. Yule: Bk. ui. Gh. xxn. 
Benedetto: Ch. CLXXXi] 

Rbay is a Kingdome that ftandeth towards the Orient, or the 

Eaft, beyond MarbarfiMG miles. In this Kingdome there be 

Chriftians, lewes, and Moores. The King of Orbay payeth 

no tribute. Heere groweth more Pepper, than in any place 

of the world. There is a thyng in couloure redde, which 

they do call Indyaco, there is pletie, and it is good to dye 

withall, and is made of hearbes. A man can fcarce keepe himfelfe in 

health, for the greate heate that is there, whiche is fo vehemente, that if 

you fhould put an Egge in the water of the riuer at fuch time as the Sunne 

hathe his llrength, it woulde feeth it as though it were put in feething or 

fcalding water. There is greate trade of merchandife in this Countrey, 

Great trade for by rcafon of the grcatc gaynes. There is very muche Pepper, and very 

reafon^qfthe good chcapc. In thys Countrcy there be manye and ftrange Beaftes to 

quaniity. bcholdc. There groweth no other kynde of grayne for fuftenance, but 

Rice. There bee many Phifitions and Aftrologers. The men and women 

are blacke, and go naked, fauing that they do couer theyr priuities. 

Heere they do marrie the Coufen with the coufen, and the fonne in lawe 

with the mother in lawe, and throughout all India they do keepe this 

manner of wedding. 

Of the Prouince named Comate, and of the people 
and ftrange Beaftes that be there 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xxvi. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. clxxv. Tule: Bk. in. Ch. xxm. 
Benedetto: Ch. CLXXxn] 

Ornate is a Countrey of India, from whence you can not fee the 

■ North Starre, nor yet it can not be feene from the Ilande named 

laua to this place. But going from hence, fayUng vppon the Sea 

thirtie miles, you fhall difcouer the North Starre ftreight. In 

this Countrey there are verye ftrange people, and verye ftrange Beaftes, 

but fpecially Apes that are like men. 


Of the Kingdome named Hely, and of 
the ftrange beaftes found there 


[Marsden: Bk. m. Ch. xxvii. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. clxxvi. Tule: Bk. lu. Ch. xxiv. 
Benedetto: Ch. CLXXxm] 

Oing from Comate agaynfte the Occident, or the Weafl thirtie 
miles, you fhall playnely fee the North Starre, and come to the 
Region of Hely, where they are all Idolaters. The King of this 
place is very rich of treafure, but he is weake of people. Thys 
Countrey is fo ftrong, that no man can enter into it perforce. And when 
any Shippe commeth thither by force of weather, or otherwife, thofe of 
the Countrey robbe hym, faying, that thofe Shyps come not thither, but 
to robbe them, and therefore they do earneftly beleeue that it is no fmne 
to robbe them. Heere be Lyons, and other wylde beaftes a great number. 

Of the Kingdome named Melibar, 
and of the things found there 


[Marsden: Bk. ni. Ch. xxviii. Pauthier: Bk. iii. Ch. clxxvii. Tule: Bk. in. Ch. xxv. 
Benedetto: Ch. CLXxxrv] 

I Elibar is a greate Kingdome in India^ towards the Occidente, Meiibar. 
and the King payeth no tribute. All the people of this 
Countrey be Idolaters. Out of thys Realme and the nexte, 
there goe manye Shippes vnto the Sea a rouing, whiche 
robbe all kind of people. They do carrie with them their 
wiues and chyldren, and they fayle in all the Sommer a 
hundred Shippes togither, and when they doe come to the fhore, they 
roue into the Countrey a hundred miles, taking all that they can finde, 
doyng no hurte vnto the people, faying vnto them. Go, and gette more, 
for peraduenture you fhall come againe into our hands. In this Countrey 
there is plentye of Pepper, of Ginger, and of Turbit, which is certayne Plenty of 
rootes for medicines. Of thys Countrey, and their conditions, I will not ct^er^and 
rehearfe, for it would be very tedious, therefore I will paffe vnto the Turbit. 
Realme of Giefurath. 


Of the Kingdome named Giefurath^ 
of their euill conditions 


[Marsden'. Bk. m. Ch. xxix. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. CLXxvm (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. in. Ch. xxvi (abridged). Benedetto: Ch'. clxxxv (abridged)] 

[lefurath, is a Kingdome, in lawe, faith, and tong of the Perfians, 
{landing towards the Occidente. All the people are Idolaters. 
Fro hence you maye playnely fee the North Starre. In this 
kingdome be the worft and cruelleft Rouers in the worlde, they 
doe take the Merchantes, not onely taking their goodes, but fetting a 
price of their ranfome for their bodyes, and if they do not pay it in a fhort 
time, they giue them fo great tormentes, that many dye of it. Heere they 
worke good Leather of all maner of coloures. 

Of the Kingdome named Thomn, and of the Kingdome 
Semhelechy which Hand in India the great 


[Marsden: Bk. ra. Chs. xxx, xxxii (in part). Pauthier: Bk. in. Chs. clxxix (in part), clxxxi. 
Ytde: Bk. ra. Chs. xxvii (in part), xxix, Benedetto: Chs. clxxxvi (in part), clxxxviii] 

[Oing from Giefurath towardes the Occidente, you come vnto the 
Kingdomes of Thoma & vnto Sembelech. In thefe Realmes there 
is al kind of Merchandizes. And thefe Realmes haue the lan- 
guage and fayth of Perfiaj and in none of them both there 

groweth anye other fuftenance than Rice. They are Realmes and Pro- 

uinces of India the great. 

Of the things already declared 


[McBTsden: Bk. m. Ch. xxxiii (last few lines). Pauthier: Bk. ra. Ch. CLxxxn (last few lines). 
Tde: Bk. ra. Ch. xxx (last few lines). Benedetto: Ch. cLxxxix (last few lines)] 

I Haue onely declared of the Prouinces and Kingdomes of India, 
I which ftande only vpon the Sea coaft, and haue declared nothyng 
Ivnto you of the Prouinces and Kingdomes within the land, for 

then this treatife would be very long and tedious vnto the Readers, but 

yet fomething of thofe partes, I will not let to declare. 


Of two Hands, the one of men, and the other of women, 
Chriftians, and how there is much Amber 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xxxrv. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch, CLXxxin. 
Tide: Bk. in. Ch. xxxi. Benedetto'. Ch. cxc] 

>Hen you go from Bejmaceian, fayUng thorough the meane fea 
towards the midday or South .25. miles, you come vnto two 
Ilandes of Chriftians, the one thirtie miles diftant from the 
other. The Hand where there is all men, is named Mafculiney 
and the other where there is all women, is named Feminine. 
The people of thofe Hands are as one. The men go not vnto 
the women, nor the women vnto the men, but three monethes in the yeare, 
as to witte, Auguft, September, and Odober, and thefe three moneths, 
the men and women are togither, and at the third moneths end, they 
retume vnto their owne houfes, doing the reft of their bufinefle by the- 
felues. The children Males tarrie with their mothers vntill they be feauen 
yeares of age, and then they goe vnto their fathers. In this Ilande there 
is greate plentye of Amber, by reafon of the greate number of Whales 
that they do take. In thys Hand they are good fiftiers, and take greate 
plentie of fiftie, and drye it at the funne, hauing great trade with it. Here 
they Hue wyth fleftie, milke, fiflie, and rice, and there increafeth no other 
fuftenaunce. Here ruleth, and gouerneth a Biftiop fuffragane of the 
Archbifliop o? Difcorfia. 

Of the Hand named Difcorfm, whiche are Chriftians, 
and of the things that be founde there 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xxxv. Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. clxxxtv. 
Tide: Bk. m. Ch. xxxii. Benedetto: Ch. cxa] 

• Oing from thefe two Ilandes, and fayling towards the mid- 
daye .500. myles, you come vnto an Ilande named Difcorfia, 
wherein are Chriftians, and haue an Archebiflioppe. Here 
is great abundSce of Amber. Alfo they do make very faire 
clothes of Cottenwooll, the people goe all naked without 
any clothing. Here is the ftall of Rouers and Pirates, and 
the Chriftians buy with a good wil the goods whiche they bring, & haue 



robbed, for that thefe Pyrates do not robbe but only the Moores and 
Paynims, and meddle not with the Chriftians. When a fhip fayleth vnder 
fayle with a profperous winde, a whole day, the day following the Pyrates, 
with inchauntmentes of the Diiiel, caufe the fhippe to haue a contrarie 
winde, and fo take it. 

Of the Ilande named Maydeygajiar, where Elephantes be founde, 

and other ftrange things, and the foule named Michas, which 

hath quils on his wings twelue paces in length, 

and of many other conditions 


[Marsden: Bk. ra. Ch. xxxvi (abridged). Pautkier: Bk. in. Ch. clxxxv (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. in. Ch. xxxiii (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxcn (abridged)] 

\AydeygaJlar is an Ilande {landing towardes the midday, 
diflaunt from Difcorjia about a thoufande myles. This Ilande 
is gouerned by foure Moores, and hath in compalfe a 
thoufand four hundred myles. Here is greate trade of Mer- 
ichaundife for Elephantes teeth, for that there is great 
'plentie: they eate no other flefh in this Hand but of Ele- 
phants, and of Cammels. Here be many mountaines of redde Sandalos or 
Saunders trees, alfo there is founde greate plentie of Amber. Here is good 
hunting of wilde beafts, and banking of foules, and hither come many 
fhippes with Merchaundife. Alfo there is very great plentie of wdlde 
Boares. There was fente from hence vnto the greate cane the lawe of a 
wilde Boare which wayghed twentie hue poundes. In fome times of the 
yeare, there is founde in this Ilande a certaine foule named nigh as, 
which is fo big, that the quill of his wings is of twelue paces long, and he 
is of fuche bignelTe and ftrength, that he with his talents \sic\ taketh an 
Elephante, and carrieth him vp into the ayre, and fo killeth him, and the 
Elephant fo being dead, he letteth him fal, and leapeth vpon him, and fo 
feedeth at his pleafure. 


Of the Hand named Tanguybar, where 
there be men like Gyants 


[Marsden: Bk. ra. Chs. xxxvii (in part), xxxviii. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. clxxxvi (abridged). 
Tde: Bk. m. Ch. xxxrv (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxcra (abridged)] 

\Anguyhar is an Ilande of great nobility, being tenne thoufand 
myles in compafle, and the people of this countrey are Idola- 
tours, and fo bigge and grofTe, that they feeme like Giants. One 
of them wil bear a burthen as waightie as fixe of our men may 
beare. They are all black, and go naked without any couer. Thefe men 
are fearefull to beholde, hauing greate mouthes, and a great redde nofe, 
great eares, and bygge eyes, horrible in fight. The women are filthy and 
euil fauoured. There is great trade of Merchandife. Thefe people are bigge 
of their bodies, ftrong, and great fighters, and efteeme not their Hues. 
The wilde beafles of thys Hand differ much from other wilde beafles of 
other Ilads and countries. 

Of the things rehearfed 


[Marsden-. Bk. in. Chs, xxxvii (in part), xxxviii. Pauthier: Bk. ni. Ch. clxxxvi (abridged). 
Tide: Bk. m. Ch. xxxrv (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. cxcm (abridged). (All continued)] 

)Ou fhall vnderflande that all whyche I haue declared of India, 
is only of the noble and great prouinces bordering vppon the 
ifea coafles, and I doe beleeue that there was neuer man, 
Chriflian, nor lew, nor Paynim, that hath feene fo much of the 
leuaunt parties as I marcus paulus haue feene, for I haue feene India 
bothe the greate and the leffe, & Tartaria, wyth other prouinces & Hands, 
which are fo many, y the age of one man, yea peraduenture of .ij. men, 
would not fuffice to trauel them all. And now I will declare vnto you of 
India the great. 


Oi Abafhya 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xxxix (first part only). Pauthier: Bk. m. Ch. CLXXxvn (first part only). 
Tide: Bk. m. Ch. xxxv (first part only). Benedetto: Ch. cxcrv (first part only)] 

>N India the greate, there is a greate prouince named Abajkia, 
whych is to fay the middle India, for it ftandeth betweene 
India the greate, and India the leffe. The king of the prouince 
is a Chriftian, and the Chriftians that be vnder hym carrye 
two tokens made with a burning yron, from the forheade 
vnto the pointe of their nofe. The great King dwelleth in 
the middeft of the prouince, the Moores dwel towardes the prouince of 

^ The holye Apoftle saint thomas did conuerte muche people vnto 
the Chriftian faith in this prouince, and afterwards went from thence 
vnto the prouince of Moaber, where he was martyred. In this prouince 
there be many valiant knights, and me of armes, and they do euer make 
war againft the souldan oiAden. The people of thys countrey hue vpon 
flefhe, milke, and Rice, and of no other thing. There they vfe muche 
vfurie, and in this prouince there be many Cities and townes. 

Of the prouince of ^^^ or Ades, and 
of the things found there 

chapter 132 

[Marsden: Bk. m. Ch. xl. Pauthier: Bk. in. Ch. clxxxviii. Tule: Bk. in. Ch. xxxvi. 

Benedetto: Ch. cxcv] 

ijHe prouince oiAdem hathe a King, and he is named the Sowdan 
of Adem. There be in this prouince many Cities and Townes, 
and the people are Moores, and haue greate ftxife with the 
Chriftians. There be in this prouince Ports and Hauens, whither 
many fhippes come with merchaundize, and the mofte of this prouince 
Hue vppon Rice, for that they haue little fleftie, and leffe miUce. This 
country is very dry and without fruite, and there groweth no grafle, and 
therefore the beaftes of this prouince line vppon drie fiftie, falte and rawe, 
which they doe eate in fteade of ftrawe and barley. 



Of a mightie King of the Orient parties 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xliv (in part). Pauthier: Bk. iv. Ch. ccxvi (in part). 
Yule-. Bk. IV. Ch. xx (in part). Benedetto: Ch. CGXvm (in part)] 

Owe I haue tolde you of India the greate, India the leffe, and 
of middle India, and nowe I haue remayning to tell you of 
the Countries whiche are towards Septentrion or the North, 
where there raygneth a King of the imperiall houfe of the 
greate cane. Thefe people do worlhippe the fame IdoU 
that the tartarians doe worfhippe, whiche they name 
NAZiGAY. This prouince hathe plaines and mountaines. There groweth 
no kinde of fuftenaunce neither come nor Rice, and the people hue onelye 
vppon flefhe and milke of Mares, and no man maketh warre againfte 
them, nor they againfte no manne. Here bee manye Camelles and other 
beaftes, but they are deade. Vppon the Seigniorie of this Kyng there is a 
Countrey fo ftrong, that no manne maye enter into it, nor yet beafte being 
bigge, by reafon of the ftraites, lakes, and fountaynes whyche bee there, 
and for that alwayes there is fuche feruent colde, that it is alwayes frozen, 
and vnto them there can come no fhipping. This Countrey is in compaffe 
twelue dayes iomey. 

Howe Armines are boughte, and of other beaftes 


[Marsden: Bk. in. Chs. xliv (in part), xlv. Pauthier: Bk. iv. Chs. ccxvi (in part), ccxvii. 
Tule: Bk. rv. Chs. xx (in part), xxi. Benedetto: Chs. ccxvni (in part), ccxdc] 

Will declare vnto you howe in thefe twelue dayes iourney 
they doe buy the wilde beafts for to haue theyr fkinnes. In 
euerye pla^e of thefe twelue dayes iourney there is plentie of 
habitations, and there be mafties or dogges little lefle than 
Affes. Thefe mafties doe drawe after them a certaine thing 
made of Woodde, whiche is called Slioiala, whiche is a fleade, 
as the Oxen or Horfes doe drawe a Carte, fauing it hathe no wheeles as oure 
Cartes haue, and thefe Slyoialas or fleddes, are as bigge as twoo menne 
maye be in it, that is to faye, the Mayfter of the mayflies or carte, and the 



Merchaunt that goeth to buy the fkinnes. And thefe mafties ceafe not draw- 
ing, excepte it be in fome myry place, they fette foure or fixe mafties to 
drawe, as among vs wee doe fette Oxen or Horfes, & when they do come to 
their iourneys end, the Merchaunt hyreth an other carter with his flead and 
mafties, for that the firfte coulde not endure fo muche labor, and fo he maketh 
his twelue dayes iourney, till he come to the mountains where the Armins 
and fkinnes are fold, where they buy them, and afterwardes they retourne 
as they came. At the ende of this Countrey there ftandeth a Kingdome 
A darke land, whichc is named the Darkland, for it is there euer darke, as wee call the 
Twylight, for the Sunne fhyneth not there, and is not feene. The people 
of this Countrey haue no King, but liue as beaftes without lawe. In this 
Countrie the men and women are well made of their bodies, although 
they be fomewhat yellowe of coloure. The Tartarian s that border 
vppon them, doe fpoyle them very muche, and when the tartarians 
doe goe to robbe in that darke valley, they ride vppon mares that haue 
horfe or mare coltes following them, for they doubte to come oute that 
wayes that they were in, by reafon of the darkneffe and wooddes, and 
when they come neare vnto the place where they meane to robbe, they 
doe tye their horfe or mare coltes vnto the trees, and ride vppon the mare, 
and doe their feate, and as they haue done it, they lette their mares goe 
whither they lifte, and the mares goe ftraighte vnto their horfe or mare 
coltes, where they lefte them tyed vnto the trees. Thofe in that Countrie, 
wyth certaine deuifes doe take many Armines, and diuers other wilde 
beafts, and take the fkinnes and dreffe them, & make merchaundize. 
This obfcure and darke Countrey, ioyneth one parte with Roufelande. 

0£ Rouf eland, and of other thinges 
whiche be founde there 

chapter 135 

[Marsden: Bk. in. Ch. xLVi. Pauthier: Bk. iv. Ch. ccxviii (abridged). 
Tule: Bk. iv. Ch. xxn (abridged). Benedetto: Ch. ccxx (abridged)] 

Oufelande is a greate Prouince towardes Trafmontana whiche 
is the North. The people of RuJJi are Chriftians, according 
to the vfe of the Greekes. Touching the things of the holy 
Church, they are verye fimple. Eouf eland is a ftrong 
Countrey, and hathe very ftrong paffages. There be very 
fayre menne and women, and vnto no man they giue 



tribute, fauing vnto the King of Tartarie of the Occident. There is made 
greate merchaundize of noble furres for apparell. In Rouf eland there be 
founde many mines of filuer, alfo there is fuch feruent colde, that the 
people can fcarce Hue. This prouince reacheth vnto the Occean Seas to- 
wardes the Septentrion, in which Seas there be many Ilandes wherein 
breedeth many Gerfaulcons, and fmgular Hawkes. 








The Introdudion 

>Or that this treatife which I found in the fecod Booke to- 
wards the end, that Maifter Pogio FlorStine, Secretary vnto 
POPE Eugenius the fourth\wryteth of the varietie or chaunge 
of fortune, it maketh muche vnto the confirmation and 
proofe of the things that Maifter Marcus Paulus writeth in 
his Booke, for that by the mouth of two or three (as our 
Redeemer fayth) there is proued the truth I thoughte good to tranflate 
it out of Eloquent Latine, whiche hee did write it in, and to communicate 
it into my rude Caftihan and naturall tongue, for that ioyntly fuche twoo 
witneffes in thys prefent worke may make a full, or almofte a fure proofe 
of fome things, for that it hath not bin feene in our Europa, or that in any 
auntient writing appeareth, it may be thoughte harde or difficile credence. 
And the faide Pogio foUoweth in this manner, in the ende of his feconde 

>T feemeth not vnto me a thing ftraunge from reafon, if I 
decline from the ftile that hitherto I haue vfed in this Booke, 
declaring of the harde fortune making an ende, counting 
the diuerfities of thinges, wherein the heartes of the Readers 
finde more tafte, and amiable gladneffe, than in thofe that 
already I haue written. Notwithftanding that alfo in the 
caufe I will declare, appeareth plainelye the force of Fortune, in retourn- 
ing a man vnto Italy oute of the extreame partes of the worlde of the 
Orient, after that he had fuffered and paffed hue and twentie yeres fuch 
greate fortunes, afwell by fea as by lande. The olde Authors do write 
many things of the Indians with the common fame, of the whiche the 
certaine knowlege that fince we haue hadde, fheweth them to be rather 
fables than of truth, as it appeareth by the referring of one Nicholas a 
VENETIAN, that after he had trauailed the intrailes of^ the Indias, he came 
vnto EUGENIUS the fourth Pope of that name, who then was in Florence, 
to reconcile himfelfe, and to haue pardon, for that comming oute of India, 
and neere vnto Egipt towards the redde Sea, hee was conftrayned to re- 
nounce and forfake the faith, for feare of death, more of his wife and 
children, than of hymfelfe. And for that I hearde by manye, that he 


declared of manye fingular things, I defired muche to heare hym, and 
not onelye to demaunde of him concerning the things whiche hee hadde 
f(6ene, in the prefence of wife Barons, and of greate authoritie, but alfo to 
enforme my felfe wyth hym in myne owne houfe, and to take a note of 
his relation, for that there mighte remaine a remembraunce of it vnto 
thofe that hereafter fhoulde come after mee. And of a trueth hee tolde 
fo certaynelye, fo wifely, and fo attentiuely all hys trauaile made amongeft 
people of fo farre Countries, the vfe, manners, and cuftome of the Indians, 
the diuerfitie of wilde beaftes, trees, the lynages of Spices, and in what 
place it groweth, that it appeared well, hee dydde not declare a fained 
tale, but the trueth of that whiche hee hadde feene. And as it feemeth, 
this man went fo farre, as none of the olde tyme hadde beene, for he 
paffed the riuer Gangy, and wente beyonde the Ilande Taprobana, where 
we reade there came none, excepte one Captaine of Alexanders fleete 
named onesycrito, and a Citizen oi Rome, that by fortune of tepeft 
arriued in thofe parties in the time of tiberius cesar. This Nicholas 
VENETIAN being yong, was as a Merchaunt in the Citie of Damafco in 
Syria, and hauing learned the Arabian tongue, he departed from the 
fayde Citie in the company of .600, Merchantes, the whiche company 
they do call carouana, or carauana, & trauailing with his mer- 
chaundize through the deferts of Arabia, otherwife named Petrea, and from 
thence thoroughe Chaldie, he came vnto the greate riuer Euphrates. 
^ Hee faide, that at the going out of the Deferte, hee fawe a meruailous 
thing, that aboute midnighte, being all at refte, he heard a great noife 
and found, that they thoughte it hadde bin companies of alarabes wild 
naked menne, or robbers, and that they were comming to doe them fome 
hurte, and all the whole company arofe and were al ready with the feare, 
and they fawe manye battels of horfemen whiche paffed harde by their 
tents much like an hofte, dooing vnto them no hurte at all, and thofe 
that hadde vfed that way, faid it was certaine companies of fiends which 
did ouerrun in that forte the Deferts. 

^ There ftandeth aboue Euphrates a noble Citie that the walles of it be 
of foureteene thoufande paces. And this Citie was a parte of the olde 
Babilon, and thofe of that Countrie name it by a newe Baldackia, and 
Euphrates runneth in the middes of it, and they doe paffe ouer a bridge 
that hath fourteene arches of ech fide, where appeareth many remem- 
braunces of the olde Babilon, and manye edifications throwne downe. It 
hath a fi;rong and a greate Pallaice royall ftanding vpon a mountaine. 
The King of this prouince is of a mightie power. From hence vp the riuer 
twenrie dayes fayling, he fawe manye noble and populous, and earable 


groundes of Ilandes, and fo he trauailed eight dayes iourney by lande 
vnto the Cittie Balferay and from thence in foure dayes he came vnto the 
Sea of Perjia, whiche ebbeth and floweth as ours doeth, and fo there 
faylyng fyue dayes, he arryued at a Hauen called Chalcou, and from thence 
hee wente vnto an Hand named Omerjia, whych is a fmall Hand, & diftant 
from the firme lad about .12000. paces, & fr6 thece he pafled toward 
India a hundred myles, and came vnto a Gitie named Calabatia, which is 
a noble Citie of the Persians, where merchaunts vfe to traffique, and 
here he was a certaine time, and learned the Perfian tongue, and made 
him apparell as the Persians had, and fo he paffed from thence forward 
al his time and trauell. And here he tooke fhipping in a fhippe with 
company of the Persians, and of the moores, & among them they 
keepe muche their promife, lawes, and othes made in company, and fo 
fayling a moneth, he came vnto a noble Gitie named Cambayta, fituated 
at the fecond entraunce that the riuer of India maketh in the lande. In 
this Gountrie there is founde the pretious ftones whiche are called sardins 
or sardonicas: and here when the hufband dieth, they do burne his 
wife or wiues that he hath, with his body, and fhe that he moft loued, 
layeth hir neck vppon hir hufbandes arme, and in this wife being in hir 
hufbandes armes, they burne them : and the other wiues they burne in an 
other fire whiche is made for that purpofe, and of this vfe it fhall be re- 
hearfed hereafter. And pafling on twentie dayes iourney, he founde two 
Cities, the one named Pacamunria, and the other Hely. In this Gountrey 
there groweth Ginger whiche is called in that countrie bellyedy, 
GEBELLY, and BELLY, and it is the roote of trees of two cubites in height, 
the leaues are great, and after the fafhion of a kettle, f bark is hard like y 
barke of Ganes, & it couereth his fruit : out of it proceedeth the ginger, 
which mingled with afhes, & layd againft the Sun, it drieth in three dayes. 
From hence he went trauailing fr6 the fea coafte three hundreth myles, 
and he came vnto the greate Gitie named Berengalia, whych is in compaffe 
three fcore myles, being enuironed on the one fide with harde and highe 
rockes, and on the other fide towards the valleys and playne grounde 
with ftrong adarues and boughes. They faye heere is .900000. menne that 
may weare armoure. The men of that country take as manye wiues as 
they lifte, and are burnte with them when they dye. In this their King 
hath ouer them greate vantage, for he taketh twelue thoufad wiues, and 
of thefe there goeth on foote after him wherefoeuer he goeth foure thou- 
fande, whych do only prepare and dreffe his victuals: and there rideth 
foure thoufand on horfebacke, well apparelled, and of more eftimation 
than the firfte. The other foure thoufand ryde in carts and wagons, and 


of thefe at the leafte there be two thoufand or three thoufand of them that 
he taketh with condition, that when the king is dead, they of their owne 
free willes mufte be burnte wyth him : vnto thefe they do great feruice and 
obedience. This king hath another very noble Citie, which hath ten 
thoufande paces in compafle, being eight dayes iourney from Berengalia, 
from whence in twentie dayes iourney by lande, hee came vnto a Citie 
vppon the fea cofte, with a good hauen called Pedifetaman, and in thefe 
twentie dayes iourney hee went through two Cities, the one named Odes 
Chyria, and the other Conteri Chyrian, where there groweth the redde 
Sandolos or Saunders. From hence he paffed vnto a Citie named Malpurya, 
whiche flandeth beyonde the feconde entring, that the riuer India maketh 
in f end, wher the body of saint thomas the Apoflle lyeth honourably 
in a fayre and famous Church, where he is greatlye honoured and wor- 
Ihipped by the Heretickes Neftorians : and there line almoft a thoufande 
men of them in this Citie. Thefe doe Hue throughout all India fcattered as 
the lewes doe among vs. All this prouince is named Mahabaria, beyonde 
there flandeth a Citie named Cayla, where there be plenty of peares, and 
many trees that beare no fruite, of fixe Cubits high, and as muche in 
compaffe : the leaues of thefe trees are fo thinne, that being playted or 
foulded vp, you may put one of them in the palme of your hand. They 
doe vfe thefe leaues in fteade of Paper to write vpon, and for to couer their 
heades with when it rayneth, for one leafe will couer three or foure men, 
when they doe trauell. In the middeft of this fea there ftandeth a noble 
Ilande named J^aylan, whyche is three thoufande myles in compafle, 
where there be many precious ftones, as Rubies, Saphires, Granates, and 
thofe that are named Cattes eyes, whyche are muche efteemed there. 
Alfo there is plentye of Synamon, whiche is a tree muche like vnto oures 
of the greateft Hawthornes, fauing that the braunches runne not vpwarde, 
but open and ftreight flopewife: the leaues be muche like vnto our Bay 
leaues, fauing that thofe of y Synamon are bigger: the rine or barke of the 
braunches is bell and thinneft, and the rine of the bodye and roote is 
thickeft, and of lefle tafle : the fruite is like vnto the Baye berries, out of 
whych there commeth a very fweete Oyle, and the people vfe to make 
oyntment of it, wherewith the Indians do annoint themfelues : they burne 
the wood of the tree, when the rine is taken away. There is in this countrey 
a lake, and in the middeft of it ftandeth a royall Citie of three myles 
compafle. The Lords of this Hand are of the lynage of the Bragmanos, and 
are taken to be of more witte than the others. The Bragmanos Studie 
Phylofophy all their life, and alfo Aftrologie, and Hue honeftly. From 
hence he pafled vnto the famous Ilande named Taprobana, which the 


Indians call Scyamucera, where is a noble Citie, and there he was a twelue 
month: it is fixe myles in compaffe, and is a famous Citie, hauing greate 
trade of Merchaundife there, and in al that Hand. From hence he fayled 
with a profperous winde, leaning on the right hand the Hand Adamania, 
which is as much to fay, as the Ilande of Golde, whyche is .800. myles 
compaffe, wherein the Euitrofagitas doe Hue, and no llraungers goe 
thyther, except it be for necefTity of weather, and immediately thofe 
barbarous people hewe them in peeces, and eate them. He fayde that 
Taprobana is .1600000 paces in compaffe, the men are verye cruell, and 
of flubberne conditions, and the men and women haue very bigge eares, 
laden with Hoopes of golde, and with precious ftones. They do weare 
linnen and cloth of filke or cruell downe vnto their knees: they take many 
wiues : their houfes are lowe, by reafon of the greate heate that the funne 
hath there. They are Idolatours, and haue muche Pepper named the 
greatefl, and of the long Pepper, and greate plentie of Camphore and 
golde. The tree that maketh the pepper is like the Yedra, or luie tree, the 
berries are green lyke vnto the luniper berries, and redde, and being 
mingled wyth afhes, they harden with the funne : there is a gTeene fruite 
named Duriano, of the bigneffe of Cucumbers. And there be fome of 
them lyke long Orengies or Lemans, of diuerfe fauours and tafte, as like 
butter, lyke milke, and like curdes. In that part of this lande, whiche is 
named Bateth, -^ Antropophagos dwel, and haue continuall warre with their 
neyghbours, and eate the flefhe of their enimies that they doe take, and 
keepe their heades for treafure, and vfe them in fleade of money, when 
they do buy anye thing, in giuing mofle heades for the thing that is mofl 
worth, and he that hath mofle heades of the deade men in his keeping, 
is efleemed to be moft rich. 

^ Hauing the Hand Taprobana, and fayling fifteene days, he arriued by 
tempefl of weather, vnto the entring of a riuer called Tenaferim, and in 
this region there be manye Elephants, and there groweth much Brafill. 
And goyng from thence trauelling many dayes iourney by land, and by 
fea, he entred at the mouth of the Ryuer Gangey, and fayled fifteene dayes 
vp the riuer, and came vnto a Citie named Cernomen, very noble and 

^ Thys Riuer Gangey is of fuche breadth, that Saylyng in the middeft, 
you fhall fee no lande on neyther fide, and hee affyrmeth that it is in 
fome places fifteene myles in breadth. In the armes and braunches of this 
ryuer there be Canes of fuche a maruellous legth, and fo bigge, that fcarce 
a manne maye compaffe one of them wyth both his armes : and of the 
hoUowneffe or pith of them, they do make things to fiihe with, and of f 


wood which is more than a fpanne thick, they do make boates to trauell 
with vpon the riuer, and from knot to knotte of thefe Canes it hath of 
hollowneiTe the length of a man. 

§[ There be in this riuer certaine beafts, hauing four feete, named Croco- 
diles, which Hue in the day time vpon the lad, and in the night in the 
water : and there be many kindes of fifhe whiche are not founde among 
vs, and vppon the braunches of this riuer be manye fayre Gardens, 
habitations, and deledable grounde. On eche fide there groweth a kinde 
of fruite muche like vnto a figge, whych is named Mufa, and it is verye 
pleafaunte, and more fweete than honnye. Alfo there is another fruite, 
whyche we call Nuttes oi India, and manye other diuerfe fruites. Going 
from hence vppe the ryuer three moneths, leauing behinde him foure 
famous Cities, he came to a goodlye famous Citie named Maarazia, where 
there is great plenty of the trees called Allocs, and plentie of golde, and 
filuer, Pearles, and precious ftones. And going from hence he direded 
hys waye vnto the mountaines of the Orient, for to haue Carbuncles, and 
trauelling thirteene dayes, he returned firfte to Cermon and afterwardes 
vnto Buffetanya. 

^ And after that, fayling a whole moneth by fea, he came vnto the entring 
of the riuer Nican, and fayling vppon it fixe dayes, he came vnto the Citie 
alfo named Nican, and he went from thence feauenteene dayes iourney 
throughe defcrte mountaynes, and plaine countrey, the fifteene days of 
plaine countrey, vntil he came to a riuer greater than the riuer Gange, 
which the people of that countrey cal Claua, and fayling vp this riuer a 
month, he came vnto a famous great Citie called Aua, being .15. miles in 

€} This prouince is named of the inhabitauntes Marcino. They haue greate 
plenty of Elephantes, for their Kyng dothe keepe tenne thoufande of 
them for the warres, and fetteth vpon euery Elephantes backe a Caftell, 
whyche maye carrie eyghte or tenne men with Speares and Shields, or 
Bovves, or CrofTebowes. He rehearfed that they toke the Elephantes in 
this manner, plinie agreeth vnto the like. They let the tame Elephants 
females goe vnto the mountaynes, vntill fuche time as the wilde bee 
acquainted with them, for the male commonly doth content himfelfe with 
one female, and when they haue once acquaintance, the female bringeth 
the wild, by little and little, grafmg, vnto a fmall yard (Irongly walled, 
hau\T}g tAvo dores, one to come in at, and another to goe out at. The 
femaic when fhe is in at the firft gate, fhe goeth out at the feconde, and 
the male following hir, the two dores be locked againfte him, and then 
haiiing him within, by certayne loupe holes made for the purpofe, there 


commeth in to the number of a thoufand men, euery one with his fnare 
in his hande, and one of thofe men prefenteth himfelfe before the Ele- 
phant, which runneth, thinking to kill the man, and then all thofe men 
runne vnto the Elephant, faftning thofe fnares on his feete, and whe they 
be faftned, with great dihgence, they do tye the fnares vnto a great poft, 
which is fet there for that purpofe, and they let him alone fo three or four 
dayes, till he be more feeble, and after the fpace of fifteene dayes, they 
giue him a little grafle, in the whiche time he waxeth tame, and then they 
do tye him among other tame Elephants, and carrie him aboute the Citie, 
and in tenne dayes he becommeth as gentle as one of the others. Alfo he 
fayde, they did tame them in this other wife, that they had and draue 
them vnto a valley compaffed round about, where they did put vnto them 
the females that were tame, and being fomewhat feeble with hunger, they 
draue them into ftrayter places made for the nonce, where they be made 
tame, and thefe the Kings do buy for their owne vfe. Some are fedde 
with Rice, and Butter, and fome with graffe. The wilde Elephantes feede 
vpon grafTe, and vpon the trees of the fields. He that hathe charge of 
them, ruleth them with a rodde of yron, or a ring whiche he putteth 
round about his head. The Elephants haue fo much prouidence, that 
manye with their feete, pull away the Speares from their enimies, for 
that they fhoulde not hurt thofe that be vpon their backes. The King 
rideth vpon a white Elephant, which hath a chayne of golde about his 
necke, being long vnto his feete, fet full of many precious ftones. The 
men of this Countrey haue but one wife a peece. Both men and women 
of this Countrey pricke themfelues, making diuers markes, and of diuers 
couloures, on theyr bodyes. They be all Idolaters, and affoone as they do 
rife in the morning, they looke into the Orient, holding their hads to- 
gither, and worfhip. There is in that Ck)untrey a certayne kinde of fruite, 
like vnto the Orenge, whiche they doe call Cyeno, full of iuice and fweete- 
neffe. Alfo, there is a tree whiche they doe call Tall, whereon they do 
write, for in all India, except it bee in the Citie of Combahita, they doe vfe 
no paper, and it beareth a fruite like vnto the Turnep, but they are greate 
and tender like vnto Gelly. It is pleafant in eating, but the ryTie is more 
pleafant. There be in that Countrey daungerous Serpents, of fixe cubites 
in length, and as thicke as a man, hauing no feete. The people of that 
Country haue great delight in eating of thofe Serpets rofted. Alfo they 
do eate a certayne redde Ante as bigge as a crabbe, efleeming it much 
dreft with Pepper. Alfo, there is a certaine Beaft, hauing a head like 
vnto a Hogge, the tayle lyke vnto an Oxe, and a home in his forehead, 
like vnto a Unicorne, but fmaller by a cubite. He is in couloure and 




bigncfle like vnto the Elephante. He is an enimie to tne Elephant. The 
vtter part of his homes is good for medicines againft poyfon, and for this 
caufe he is had in great price and eftimation. At the end of this Region 
towards Catay^ there be Oxen both blacke and white, had in great eftima- 
tion. They haue a mane and a tayle lykc vnto a Horfe, but more hearie, 
and reacheth vnto their feete. The heares of their tailes be very fine, and 
like vnto feathers, and they be fold by weight, and therof they do make 
Mofcaderos or Table clothes, for the Altares of their Gods, or for to couer 
the Table of their King, or for to trimme them with gold and filuer, to 
couer y buttocks or breafts of their Horfes, for beautyfulneffe, & they 
efteeme the for principall ornaments. Alfo, the Knightes hang of thefe 
heares faft by the yron of their Speares, in token among them of fingular 

^ Beyond the fayde Marcino, there is another Prouince more principall 
Cataya. than the others, which is named Cataya, and he is Lord of it that is named 
The great the great CANE, whych is as muche to faye in their tong, as Emperoure, 
and the City royall, which is .28. miles in compaffe, four fquare, is named 
Cymbalechya. There ftandeth in the middeft thereof, a very faire and ftrong 
Pallace, that ferueth for the King. At euery corner ftandeth a round 
fortreffe of .4. miles compafle, whiche ferue for houfes of all manner of 
armoure, and neceflarie engines for the warre, and combat againft any 
Citie. And from the Pallace royall there runneth a wall with arches vnto 
euery one of thefe fortrefles, whereon the King may go vnto any of them, 
if in cafe they would rife againft him in the Citie. From thys Citie 
fifteene dayes iourney, there ftandeth another Citie newly edifyed by the 
great cane, and is named Nentay. It is in compafle thirtie miles, and is 
moft populous of all the reft. And this Nicholas affirmeth, that the 
houfes and Pallaces, and all other policies of thefe two Cities, feemed 
much like vnto thofe o^ Italy, the men beeing modeft and curteous, and 
of more riches tha the other be. 

^ Going from Aua vpon a fmall riuer feauentene dayes iourney, he came 
vnto a Hauen Citie, being very greate, named ^eitano, and from thence 
he entred into another Riuer : and in tenne dayes, he came vnto another 
greate and populous Citie, whiche is in compaffe .12000. paces, whiche is 
called Paconya, where he remayned foure monethes. In this Citie he 
founde Uines though they were few, for all India lacketh Uines and Wine, 
nor they make no wine of the Grapes. This Grape groweth among the 
trees, and after the Grape is cut, the firft thing of all, if they do not 
facrifice with it vnto their Gods, it is by and by auoyded out of their 
fight. Alfo, there be in this Countrey Pines, Aberrycocks, Cheftnuttes, and 


Mellons, although they be fmall and greene. Heere is whyte Sandalos 
or Saunders, and Camphora, or Camphire. 

^ There is in India farre within, almofl at the furtheft end of the world, 
two Ilandes, and both of them are named Laua, the one is of two miles 
in length, and the other of three, towards the Orient, and they are knowen 
in the name, for the one is called the greate, and the other the leffe. And 
turning vnto the Sea, he went vnto them, beeing diftant from the mayne 
land a monethes fayling, and the one is a hundred miles diftat from the 
other. He was in thefe with his wife and children nine moneths, for in 
all his pilgrimage he had them euer with him. The dwellers in thefe 
Hands are the moft cruell and vncharitable people in the world. They 
eate Rattes, Cattes, Dogges, and other viler beaftes. They efteeme it 
nothing to kill a man, and he that doth any crime, hathe no penaltie, 
and the debters be giuen to be as flaues vnto the creditors, and fome 
debters will rather dye than ferue, and take a Sword, and kill thofe that 
are weaker than they, till they find one that is of more ftrength than 
themfelfe, who killeth them, & then they carrie the creditor of that 
murtherer before the ludge, and caufe him to pay the debtes of the debter. 
If any of them do buy a new Sword or knife, he proueth it vpon the body 
of the firfte that he meeteth, and there is no penaltie for it. Thofe that 
come by looke vpon the wound, and prayfe the hardineffe of him that 
did it, if it be a great wound. They take as many wiues as they lift. They 
do vfe much the game of Cockfighting, and they that bring them as well 
as the lokers on, lay wagers whiche Cocke fhall ouercome, and winne the 
game. In Laua the great, there is a Fowle like vnto a Doue, which hath 
no feete, his feathers light, and a long tayle: he refteth alwayes on the 
trees, hys flefh is not eaten, the fkinne and tayle are efteemed, for they 
do vfe to weare them on their heads. 

^ Sayling fifteene dayes beyond thefe two Ilandes towards the Orient, 
you come vnto two other Hands, the one is named Sanday, where there is 
Nutmegges and Al maxiga or Mafticke. The other is called Bandan, where 
Cloues grow, and from thence it is caryed vnto the Hands named Clauas. 
In Bandan there be three kinds of Popiniayes or Parrets, with redde 
feathers, and yellowe billes, and others of diuers couloures, whiche are 
called Moros, that is to fay, cleare. They are as bigge as doues. There be 
other white ones as bigge as Hennes, named Cachos, that is to fay, better, for 
they exceede the others, and they fpeake like men, in fo muche, that they 
doe aunfwere vnto the things that they are afkedof. The people of thefe two 
Ilandes are blacke, by reafon of the greate heate. Beyond thefe Hands there 
is a mayne Sea, but the contrary winds will not fuffer men to trauell on it. 


f| Lcauing thefe fayde Hands, and hauing done his Merchandife, he toke 
his waye towards the Occidcnte or Wefte, and came.vnto a Citie named 
Cjarnpa, hailing abundaunce of Aloes and of Cnmphora, or Camphirej and 
ofgoldc, and in fo muche time as he came hither, whiche was 4 moneth, 
he came vnto a Citie named Coloen, whiche is a noble Citie of three miles 
compaffe, where there is Ginger named Conbobo, and Pepper, and Uergino, 
and Sinamon, which is named Gruejfa, Thys Prouince is named Melibarya. 
Alfo, there be Serpents of fixe cubites in length, and fearefull to behold, 
but they do no hurt, except they receyuc hurt. Ihey do delight muche to 
fee children, and for to fee them, they come where men be. Their heads 
when they be layde, fecme like to Celes heads, and when he lifteth vp his 
head, it feemeth bigger. It hath at the hinder partes a face like to a man, 
and as though it were paynted of diuers couloures. They doe take them 
by inchanlments, which the people vfe muche there, and carrie them to 
be fecne, and doe no hurt to anye body. Alfo, there is in this Prouince, 
and in the nexte adioyning named Sujynaria, another kind of Serpets, 
which hath foure feete, and a long tayle lyke maftyes. They doe take them 
hunting, and eate them, for they doe no hurte, and are to eate as amongft 
vs the Hinde or wilde Goate. The people fay they are good meate. Their 
Skinnes be of diuers couloures, and thofe people vfe them for diuers 
couen'iigSj for it is very fayre to behold. Alfo, there be other Serpentes 
of a maruellous figure in that Countrey, of ^ length of one cubite, with 
wings like vnto Battes. They haue feauen heads, ordinarily fette of the 
length of his bodye. They dwell among the trees, and are of a fwifte 
flighte. They are more venomous than the other, that onely with their 
breath they kill a man. Alfo, there be Cattes of the Mountayne, that flye, 
for they haue a fmall fkinne from the backe vnto the bellie, ouer all theyr 
body and feete, whyche is gathered vp when they are ftill: and when they 
will fiye, they fpredde it, and moue it lyke wings, leaping from one tree 
vnto another. The Hunters do follo^v them, till they be weerie with flying, 
that they fill downe, and fo are taken. Alfo, there is in this Countrey a 
tree named Cachy, that of the troncheon there groweth a fruite lyke vnto 
a Pyne, but it is fo great, that a man can fcarce beare it. The hull is 
grecrte and harde, but it is of fuche a forte, that if you thruft it with youre 
finger, it gyucth place. It hath within it two hundred and fiftie, or three 
hundred Apples, like vnto Figges. They are of a pleafante taft, and are 
feyjarated with a very thinne rine. The hull within is like vnto the Cheflnut 
in hardneffe and fauoure, and in like maner they are rofted. They are 
windie, fo that if ihey be putte into the fire, except they be cut, they will 
ftart out. They do giue the vtter rine vnto the Oxen to eate. Sometimes 


they fynde this fruite vnder grounde in the rootes of the trees, and thofe 
be of a pleafanter taft, therefore they doe vfe to prefente them vnto the 
Kings and Nobles. The fruite within hath no rine. This tree is muche 
Uke vnto a great Figge tree: the leaues are Uke vnto the leaues of^ Platanos, 
or ragged. The wodde is like vnto Boxe, therefore it is hadde in eftima- 
tion, and is vfed aboute manye things. Alfo, there is another fruite named 
Amba, verye greene, like vnto a Walnut, but bigger than a Peache. The 
rine is bitter, and within, it hath the fauour of hony. They lay them in 
water before they ripe, and drefle them as we doe the greene Olyues for 
to eate. 

^ From Coloen he wente three dayes iourney vnto a Citie named Cochin, 
it is fiue myles in compafle, fcituated at the entring of a Riuer, of the 
whiche it hath the name, and fayHng a certayne time vpon the Riuer: 
he faw manye fiers and nettes faft by the Riuer, and thought there had 
bin filhermen, and he demaunded what thofe fifhermen did with thofe 
fires euery nighte, and thofe of that Coutrey gaue him anfwere ycepe^ 
ycepe, that is to fay, they were fifhes or monfters, hauing humane forme, 
that on the daye time liued in the water, and in the night they doe come 
out of the water, and gather wodde togither, and make a fyre, ftriking 
one ftone agaynfte another, whiche Monfters did take and eate filhe, for 
there woulde come manye vnto the lighte of the fire, and fometimes there 
is taken fome of them, and there is found no difference in them from other 
men and women. In this Region, the frutes are like vnto thofe of Coloen. 
Beyond this, there ftandeth another Citie named Catonguria, ftanding at 
the entring of another Riuer into the Sea, and beyond, there ftandeth 
Paluria, and Malyancora, and tliis name among them fignifyeth a great 
Citie, it is nine miles in compalfe. He wente through all thofe, and came 
vnto Colychachia, a City ftanding vpon the Sea coafte, it is '=iyght miles in 
compafTe, it is the moft noble in trade of Merchandife, that is in all India. 
^ There is heere very much Pepper, Laccar, Ginger, grolTe Sinamon, and 
other fpices Aromatike, and of a fweete fauoure. Only in this region, the 
woman taketh as many hufbands as fhe lifteth, and the hufbands agree 
among themfelues what cache fiiall giue towardes the may/itenance of the 
wife. Euery hufband is in his owne houfe, and when he gocth vnto his 
v/ife, he fetteth a figne at the dore, and when another of them commeth, 
and feeth the figne, he goeth another way. The children are the hufbands 
that the wife lifteth to giue them vnto. The fonnc dothe not inherit his 
fathers iande, but hys fonnes fonne. 

fl From hence he traueiled fifteene dayes, tyll hec came to a Citie called 
Cambayta, ftanding neere the Sea. It is twelue miles in compaffe tov/ardes 


the Occidente. There is plentye of Efpico, Nardo, or Lacca Indico, or 
Gome Laka, Myrabolanos, & Crewill. 

^ There is heere a certayne kind of Prieftes, whiche are named Bachales, 
hauing but one wife a peece, and ihe (by their law) is burnt with hir 
hulband. This kind of people eateth no flefh, but onely fruites of the 
grounde, and Rice, milke and hearbes. 

^ Here be many wilde Oxen, they haue manes like vnto Horfes, but 
longer, and his homes are fo long, that when he tumeth his heade they 
reache vnto his tayle, and for that they be fo bigge, they doe vfe them in 
fleade of bottels to drinke in by the waye. Returning to Colicuchia^ hee 
palfed vnto an Hand named Secutera, whiche ftandeth towards the Occi- 
dent, diftant from the mayne lande a hundreth myles. It is fixe hundreth 
myles in compaffe, and it is replenifhed for the moft parte with Chriftians 
Neftorians Heretickes. Right againft this Hand no more thS fine myles, 
there ftandeth two Hands, a thoufande myles diftant the one from the 
other, the one is of men, the other of women, fometimes the men paffe 
vnto the women, and fometimes the women go ouer vnto the men, and 
they returne backe vnto their Ilande before fixe moneths, for if they 
fhoulde tarrie any longer, they thinke they fhoulde dye. 
^ From hence he paffed by fea, vnto a Citie named Adena in fiue days, 
which hath many edifications, and from thence in feauen dayes he wente 
vnto Ethiopia, vnto a hauen named Barbara, and from thence in a monthes 
fayling he came vnto the redde fea, vnto a hauen called Byonda, and from 
thence he fayled two monthes with great difficultie, and landed in a 
countrey neare vnto mounte Sinay, & from thence trauelling through the 
deferts, he came vnto Garros, a Citie in Egipt with his wife, foure fonnes, 
and as many feruaunts. In this Citie his wife, two fonnes, and his fer- 
uauntes died of the plague, and finallye after long perilous and daungerous 
pilgrimages, he came vnto Venice, his own countrey. 


Demaunding him of the life and cuftomes of the Indians, he 
gaue me aunfweare that all India was diuided into three 
parts, the one from Perfia vnto the riuer Indo, another from 
the riuer Indo, vnto the riuer Gauge, and the other ftadeth 
beyond thefe, and exceedeth the others in riches, humanitie, 
and pollicie, and are equal vnto us in cuftomes, hfe, and 
polHcie, for they haue fumptuous and neate houfes, and all their veffels 


and houftiolde ftufFe very cleane: they efteeme to liue as noble people, 
auoyded of all villanie and crueltie, being courteous people & riche 
Merchauntes, in fo muche that there is one merchaunte hauing fortie 
ihippes for his owne trade, and euery one of them is efteemed in .50000. 
Duckets. Thefe only vfe as we do, tables couered with table clothes, and 
haue theyr Gupboardes of plate, for the other Indians eate vppon a thing 
layde vppon the grounde. The Indians haue neyther vines nor Wine, they 
doe make their drinke of grounde Rice mingled with water, putting vnto 
it a certaine redde coloure all tempered with the iuyce of a certayne tree. 
^ Alfo they make their pottage like vnto their Wine. In the Ilande 
named Taprobana they doe cutte the braunches of a certaine tree, whiche 
is named Tall, and leaue them hanging, and out of them there runneth a 
fweete licour whiche they vfe to drinke. Alfo there is a lake betweene the 
riuers Indo and Gange, of a maruellous fauerie and pleafaunt water to 
drinke, and al thofe that dwell there about drink of it, and alfo farre off, 
for they haue fet horfe from place to place, for the purpofe, fo that they 
haue it brought frefh euery daye : they haue all want of breade : they Hue 
vppon Farro or Rice, flefhe, milke, and cheefe. They haue gret plentie of 
Hennes, Capons, Partridges, Feyfauntes, and manye other wildefoules. 
They doe vfe much fowling and hunting. They fhaue their beardes, and 
nourilhe a Heare tayle: and fome tye their haire wyth a filken lace, 
behinde their fhoulders, like a tayle, and fo they weare them vnto the 
warres. They haue Barbars as we haue, they are tall of bodye as we be, 
and alfo in their time of life, they doe lye in fumptuous beddes, and 
couered with quilles of Gotten. Their apparell is diuerfe according vnto 
the diuerfitie of the countrey. They haue all fcante of woollen cloth, they 
do vfe cloth of lyne and of cruell and make apparell of it. As well the 
men as the women couer their fecreetes vnto their hammes, with a peece 
of linnen, & vpon it they put a vefture of linnen, or of filke, for the greate 
heate will not fuffer them to weare more apparell, and therefore they doe 
goe fo fmgle tyed with Grimfon lace, and of gold tyed as we do fee the 
painters make on the auntient pi6lures. The women vfe certaine thinne 
ftioes of leather, trimmed wyth Golde and cruell. 

^ Alfo they doe weare for gallauntneffe Hoopes of golde on their armes, 
and about their neckes, about their breaftes, and on their legges, the 
waight of three pounde fet with precious ftones: the common women 
kepe theyr houfes as baudes : there be manye and eafie to jfinde, for they 
are almoft in euery ftreet, the which with perfumes and foft oyntmentes, 
with their tender age and beautie prouoke muche the menne, for in that 
countrey they are muche inclyned vnto thofe women, and for thys caufe 


the Indians knowe not what thyng is that abhominable finne. Of manye 
wayes they doe drefle theyr heades, but commonlye mofle of them vfe to 
couer their heades with fine lawnes wreathed, and their haire laced with 
a filken lace: in fome other places they binde theyr haire vp to their 
heades, in manner like vnto a peare, and on the knot aboue on their 
haire they fet a pinne of golde, whereby they do hang certaine cordes of 
golde, being of diuerfe colours, hanging betweene the haires. Some 
women vfe commonly blacke haire, and among them it is moft efteemed. 
Some women couer theyr heades wyth certaine painted leaues of trees, 
and they doe not paynte their faces, but thofe inhabiting the prouince 
named Cataya doe. 

^ In the India within, they do not confent to a man to haue but one wife. 
In the others they haue as manye as their carnall luft wil, fauing the 
Chriftian Hereticke Neftorians, which dwel fcattered throughout all the 
Indias, for they take but one woman. The maner of their tombes is not 
as one in all the Indias, for the mofte India exceedeth other, in diligence 
and fumptuoufneife, for they doe make caues vnder grounde, in trimming 
it with a fine wal, and laye in the deade body in a precious bedde, 
trimmed wyth Ornaments of Golde, fetting certaine bafkettes round 
about wyth his mofi:e precious apparell, and put on rings, as though the 
deade bodye flioulde enioye thofe things in Hell. They clofe the mouth 
of the caue very ft:rongly, that none may enter, and vpon it they do make 
a fumptuous and rich tombe ftrong to abide rayne, and to be the more 
durable: but in the middle India they doe burne the deade bodies, and 
moft commonly they do burne their wiues alyue with the deade body, 
one or manye, according as hee had. 

^ They doe by law burn the firft wife with him, although it be but one. 
Alfo they doe take other wiues on this condition, for to honoure him in 
his death, burning hir felfe with him : and this among them is no little 
honour. They do laye the deade bodie in a bedde trimmed with the befte 
apparell that he hath. They do make a fyre rounde about with fweete 
wood, and when it burneth, his wife is trimly dreft with hir befte aray, 
and comming with Trumpets and Shawmes and fongs merily, as thoughe 
fhe did fing, flie goeth rounde about the fire. At this there is prefente 
the Priefte, whiche they name baghale in a Pulpit, preaching vnto hir 
howe fhe mufte not efteeme the life nor death, faying, that flie fhall haue 
in the other worlde with hir hufband muche pleafure, and fliall poflefle 
greate riches, honour and apparell: ftie inflamed with thofe words that 
he telleth hir, after that flie hath gone a certaine time rounde aboute the 
fire, fhee ftandeth nigher the Prieftes Chayre or Pulpit, and putteth off 


all hir apparell, & putteth on a white linnen fheete, and leapeth into the 

fyre. If fome of them be fearefuU (for they haue feene the lyke of fome) 

that lamenteth and ftriueth with death, after that fhe hath leapte in, then 

the (landers by doe throwe hir in wheather fhee will or no. After they be 

burnte, they gather the afhes, and putte them into pottes, and fome into 

the graue. 

^ They doe weepe for the deade after diuers manners. The inner Indians 

couer theyr heades with a facke, and fome putte boughes of trees in the 

highe wayes, and doe hang from the toppe to the grounde painted verfes, 

playing three daies vpon certain inftrumets of Copper. They do giue 

vnto the poore for Gods fake. Other do weep three dayes for the deade, 

and all the kinffolkes and neighbors goe vnto the deade bodies houfe, 

and they doe carry vidualles, but it is not drefte in the dead mans houfe. 

In thefe three dayes, thofe that haue buried their father or mother, do 

carry a bitter leafe in their mouth, and in a whole yere after they doe not 

chaunge their apparell, nor eate not but once a day, nor yet cutte theyr 

nailes, nor haire of their heade or bearde. The women which weepe for 

the dead, are many, they ftande neare vnto the deade bodies bedde, being 

naked vnto the nauell, and ftrike theyr breaftes wyth a loude voyce, 

faying, alacke, alacke : and one of them beginneth to praife the vertues 

of the deade bodye, and all the refte aunfwered vnto hir wordes, ftriking 

theyr breafts: fome put in certaine velfels of gold, and of filuer. The 

afhes of their Prince they caufe to be caft into a lake that they haue, 

faying, it is hallowed by their Goddes, and that that waye they goe downe 

vnto their Gods. The Prieftes whyche they doe call bachales, eate of 

no kinde of beaftes, efpecially not of the Oxe, for they will neither eate, 

nor kill him, faying, he is verye profitable vnto menne aboue al beaftes. 

They doe eate Rice, hearbes, fruites, and fuch like, and haue but one 

wife, whiche is borne with hir hufbande when he dyeth, laying hir armes 

aboute his necke, receyuing hir death with fo good a wil, that fhe fheweth no 

figne of paine. Through out al India there is founde a lynage of Philofophers 

named bramanos, whiche ftudye Aftrologie, and prognofticate things 

to come. They are apparelled more honeftly, and liue more holily than 

the others. Nicholas faide, that he hadde feene amongeft thefe men, Mmiiuethrie 

fome of .300. yeares, and among them it was hadde for a miracle, for '""^"'^y'"^"- 

wherefoeuer that man wente, the boyes woulde followe hym, as a thing 

of noueltie: and among them is muche vfed the fuperflition whyche they 

doe call geomancia, by the whiche they tell thinges to come, as thoughe 

they were prefent. Alfo they are gyuen vnto inchauntementes, fo that 

dyuers tymes they doe moue and caufe tempeftes to ceafe, and for this 


caufe manye do eate in fecret, for that they fhould be enchaunted by 
thofe that looke vppon them. 

^ The faide Nicholas dydde tell for a trueth, that hee beeyng patrone 
and owner of a Shyppe, hee hadde a calme feauen dayes, and hys mar- 
riners fearyng, they wente all vnto the mayne mafte, and fette vppe a 
Table, and after they had made their facrifices vppon it, they leapte and 
daunced rounde aboute, calling manye times the name of their Gods, 
whyche they name mutia: and among thefe there entred a Feend in a 
Alarabe or Moore, whyche was amongeft them, he beganne to fmg 
maruellouflye, running aboute the Shippe lyke a madde man, and after- 
wardes he came vnto the Table, and dydde eate vppe all the meate vnto 
the bones and fire. Alfo hee didde demaunde a Cocke, and killed it, and 
drunke vp the bloude, and immediatelye hee demaunded of thofe of the 
Shippe, what they woulde haue that hee fhoulde doe, and they demaunded 
that he fhoulde gyue them wind, he promifed to giue it them within three 
dayes, and fuche, that they Ihoulde come vnto harborowe : and he Ihewed, 
fetting his handes behinde, from whence the wind fliould come, and willed 
them to prepare for the flrength that the winde woulde bring: and when 
he hadde thus faide, the manne fell downe as halfe deade, without anye 
knowlege or remembraunce of anye thing that he hadde faide, and in 
fewe dayes after they were fette in harborowe. Commonly the Indians 
fayle by the guiding of the Starres of the Pole Antartique, for feldome 
times they doe fee oure North Starre. They vfe not the Loademans flone 
as wee doe : they doe meafure their waye, and diflaunce of places, accord- 
Their Pole ing as their Poale rifeth and falleth, and fo they doe knowe by this meanes, 
faiuth. what place they are in. They doe make bigger Shippes than wee doe, that 
is to faye, of twoo thoufande Tunnes, wyth fyue fayles, and fo manye 
maftes ; they builde their Shippes wyth three planckes one vppon another 
vnder water, that they maye the better refifte the tempeftes, for there 
chaunceth many. Thefe Shippes are made with Chambers, after fuche 
a forte, that if one of them fhoulde breake, the others maye goe and finifh 
the voyage. Throughout al India they doe worlhippe IdoUes, and haue 
Churches muche like vnto oures, painted within with diuers pidures, 
whiche they doe decke with floures at their feafts. They haue within 
Idolles of ftone, and gold, of filuer, and of luorie, fome of .60. foote in 
height. They haue among thcmfclues diuers manners in worfhipping, and 
facrifizing. When they enter into the Church, they wafh themfelues in 
cleane water, and fo they go in the morning, and in the afternoone, they 
go in lying along vpon the ground, lifting vppe their feete and handes, 
and fo praye a whyle, then they doe kiife the grounde, and fenfe their 


Idolles with the Imoake of fweete woodde. On this fide of Gange the 
INDIANS vfe no belles, but in fteade of them, they doe ftrike vppon a 
veflell of Copper, and with an other veffel they doe offer vidualles vnto 
their Gods as the Gentiles did, and afterwarde doe imparte it to the poore, 
that they maye eate it. 

^ In the Cittie whiche they name Cambayta the Prieftes preache vnto the 
people in prefence of the IdoU their God, declaring howe they Ihoulde 
worfhippe him, & howe much it pleafeth their Gods, when they do kill 
themfelues for their loue: and there flands in prefence many that deter- 
mine to kill themfelues for them. They haue a hoope of Iron aboute their 
neckes, the vtter parte of the hoope is rounde, and within, it is Iharpe 
like vnto a Rafar : alfo they doe hang vnto the fore parte of the hoope 
down theyr breafte a chaine, and being fette downe, they fallen theyr 
feete vnto it, and beeyng thus, as the Priefte fayeth certaine wordes, they 
flretch forth their legges, and lifte vp their heades, and thus with the 
fharpeneffe of the hoope, cutte off their heades in facrifice of their IdoU, 
yeelding vppe their lines. And they that kill themfelues in this order, are 
efteemed as Saints. In the Citie oi BizeJiegalia in certaine time of the yeare, 
they doe carry about the Cittie in proceflion their IdoU betweene two 
cartes, in the company of muche people, and the Damoyfelles ride in 
cartes in trimme aray, finging in the praife of hym with muche folempnitie, 
and manye induced by the ftrength of theyr faith, do lay themfelues vpon 
the ground, that the wheeles of the cartes may goe ouer them, to brufe 
their bones, and fo to dye, faying, that that death is acceptable vnto theyr 
God. Others there be, that for the better adorning of the carts, make 
holes throgh the fides of their bodies, putting a rope throughe it, and tye 
themfelues vnto the carte, and fo hanging dead in the proceffion, accom- 
pany theyr IdoU, thinking that they cannot doe greater worfhippe nor 
facrifice vnto their Gods. And they make their folempnity three dmes in 
a yeare. In one titne there gather togither all the menne and women, 
and people of all ages, wafhing themfelues in the fea, or in a riuer, hauing 
all newe apparell, doyng nothing elfe in three dayes but feafte, daunce, 
and fing. Another feafle they celebrate in burning manye lampes within 
and withoute their Churches, burning with oyle of lonioUy, and the light 
goeth not oute daye nor nighte. In the thirde, they doe fette vppe poales 
like fmall mafles through all the flreetes, and from the toppe vnto the 
grounde, they doe hang very faire clothes, wroughte with golde, belonging 
vnto their Gods and painted, and on the toppe of thefe poales, al the 
whole nine dayes that it endureth, they do fette a religious man that 
hathe a benigne and meeke face, who fuffereth all that paine for to 


receiue the grace of his God, and the people throwe vnto him Orrenges, 
Lemmons, and other hke fruites, and he fufFereth it all with patience. 
There bee other three folempne dayes, that they doe cafte Saffron water 
vppon thofe that paffe throughe the ftreetes, and manye laughe at it. 
They doe celebrate their weddings wyth banquets, fongs, trumpets, and 
inftrumentes muche like vnto ours, fauing Organs whiche they haue not : 
they doe make very fumptuous feafts day and nighte, with inftrumentes, 
daunces, and fongs. They daunce rounde aboute as wee doe, following 
one after an other in order, and twoo of them carrying twoo painted 
wandes in their handes, and as they doe meete, they doe chaunge ftickes 
or wandes. 

^ And NICHOLAS rehearfeth, that this was a fayre fighte to beholde. 
They doe vfe no Bathes, fauing the Indians beyonde Gauge. The others 
doe wafhe themfelues manye times of the daye with colde water: they 
haue fcant of oile, and other fruites of ours, as Peaches, Peares, Cherries, 
Damfons, Apples, and of Grapes they haue but fewe, and (as aboue is 
rehearfed) onely in one place. And in Puditfetamas, a prouince, there 
groweth a certaine tree withoute fruite, it groweth three cubites aboue 
grounde, and they call it Ihamefulneffe, for when a man commeth vnto 
it, it inclofeth the braunches, and when he goeth away, it fpreadeth abroade 
his braunches. 

^ Birengalia is a Mountaine whiche ftandeth beyonde towards the 
Septentrion fifteene dayes iorney. It is enuironed with many lakes, named 
Birenegalias, whiche are full of venomous beaftes, and the mountaine 
ftandeth daungerous to bee entred, by reafon of Serpentes. And thereon 
growe the Adamantes: and for that menne dare not goe vnto it, the 
pollicie of manne founde a way to enter, and to take the Adamantes, for 
there ftandeth adioyning vnto it an other mountaine, being a Httle higher, 
and in certaine times of the yeare menne goe vppe vnto the toppe of it, 
where they doe kill certaine Oxen that they carrye with them, and the 
peeces of fleflie being hotte and bloudy, with certaine Croflebowes for the 
purpofe, doe flioote them vppon the toppe of that other mountaine, and 
with the fall, it cleaueth fafte vnto the Adamantes, and then the Bitturs 
and Eagles that flye in the ayre, fnatche vppe that flefhe with* their clawes 
or tallants, and flye vnto other places, where they maye feede vppon it 
without feare of thofe Serpentes. and fo the men finde the ftones that fall 
from the fleftie: they doe fynde wyth more eafe the pretious ftones, for 
they doe digge in fundrye places, where they vfe to finde fuche ftones, fo 
deepe, til they fynde water mingled wyth grauell, and then they doe take 
a fyue for that purpofe, and putte in of the grauell, and the water runneth 


out, and keepe the flones that remaine behind, and after this forte in al 
thefe parties they doe vfe to finde them: and the Maifters that fette to 
feeke them, haue greate care that their feruauntes doe not fteale of thofe 
flones, for they haue thofe that fearch all their apparell, yea, and fo neare, 
that they leaue not vnfearched their priuie partes, to knowe if they haue 
hidden anye. They diuide the yeare into twelue moneths as we doe, and 
counte the moneths according to the twelue fignes of the Elements. They 
accompte the yeare in diuers manners, and the mofte parte doe recken it 
from Augufl, for that in the time of Augustus octauius g^sar there 
was an vniuerfall peace throughoute all the world, and they recken from 
that time .1490. yeares. In fome regions they haue no money, but vfe in 
fteade of money a certayne fmall ftone whiche they name Cattes eye, and 
in fome other places they do vfe peeces of Iron like needles, fomewhat 
bigger. In other places they do vfe the Kings name written in paper in 
fteade of money. In fome prouinces of India more within the lande, they 
doe vfe Venice duckets of golde, and alfo other mony of two duckettes in 
one. Alfo they do vfe money of filuer, and of copper, and in other places 
they doe make certaine peeces of golde, and vfe them in fteade of money. 
The firfte Indians in the warres vfe dartes, <2? fwords, a defence for their 
armes Uke Almaine riuets, rounde Targes, and bowes. The other Indians 
vfe fkuUes, backes, and breafte plates. The Indians which are beyond, 
vfe Croflebowes and gunnes, & al other ingenious artillerie vfed against 
Cities. Thefe name thofe of the Weafte free, and faye, that all other people 
are blinde, fauing they, whiche haue twoo eyes, and faye that we haue 
but one, fignifying, that in prudence they do exceede all the worlde. And 
onelye the Cambaytas write in paper, and all the refte write vppon leaues 
of trees, and of them make Bookes of a good liking : nor yet they write 
not as we doe, nor as the lewes from one fide vnto an other, but begin 
aboue, and fo write downewardes. There be among the Indians diuers 
languages. They haue gret abundaunce of flaues. The debtor that can 
not paye, they caufe him to ferue the creditor, & he that is accufed of any 
crime, there being no certaine witnefle againfte him, is quitte by his oth : 
they vfe three manner of othes. There commeth the partie before hys 
IdoU, and fweareth by that Idoll, that he is not faultie, and they haue 
readye a hotte bumyng Iron like vnto a fiftie hooke, and caufe hym that 
fwore, to touch it with his tongue, and to licke it, and if it doe him no 
hurte, he is quitte. And others bring the partie before hys Idoll, and 
caufe hym to take that fame burning yron in his hande, and fo to carry 
it certaine paces, and if it hurt him not, he is quitte, but if it doe, he is 
guiltie. The thirde manner of fwearing, whiche is mofte vfed, is fuche: 


They doe fette before his IdoU, a potte full of hote melted butter, and he 
that fweareth not to be guiltie, dippeth in two of his fingers into the butter, 
and fo wrappeth them with a clowte, and fealeth it, that it fhall not 
vnloofe, and at three dayes ende they vndoe it, and if there be founde any 
figne of burning, hee is guiltie, if not, he is quytte. There is no peftilence 
in the Jndias, nor yet other of the difeafes that vfe to trouble oure regions, 
and for this caufe there is more Townes and people than is to be be- 
leeued. There be manye that make hoftes of a million of menne, whych 
is .loooooo. NICHOLAS declared, that of one towne, there went out 
againft another towne great hofts, and had battayle, and when the one 
had ouercome the other, for a great triumph, they did bring twelue Cart 
loades of gold laces, and of filke, with the whych the men that remayned 
deade, had tyed theyr locke hayres, that hanged downe vpon their backes. 
He fayd more, that fometimes he had gone to their wars, only for to fee both 
parties, and they dyd not hurt hym, for that they knew hee was a ftraunger. 
^ In an Hand named Laua the great, is founde in a fewe places a tree, 
that hath in the middeft of the harte a rodde of yron, very fmall, but fo 
long as the hart goeth, and hee that hath of this yron next vnto his flelh, fhall 
not perifhe by no kinde of yron, and for this caufe there be many that 
cut their fkinnes and put a peece of it betweene the fkinne and the flefh, 
it is much efteemed. 

Q The things that of the byrde Phoenix be declared and written in verfes 
by LATANCio, feeme not to be fables, for the fayde Nicholas doeth fay, 
that at the end of India, there is only one byrde named Seuienda, whofe 
bil is Uke vnto Alboge, or togither with many hoales, and when the time 
of his death commeth, he gathereth togither dry woodde into his nefte, 
and fitting vpon it, he fmgeth fo fweetely wyth his bill, that he delighteth 
and pleafeth muche thofe that heare him, and then flittering with his 
wings vppon the wood, there cometh fire, and he letteth hymfelfe burne, 
& then there commeth a worme out of his nefte, and of hys afhes, and of 
it breedeth the birde, vnto the likeneffe of that byrdes byl. Thofe of that 
country made the Aluogue with the which they play very fweetly. And 
NICHOLAS maruelling much of it, they tolde him of what the making of 
it proceeded. Alfo there is in the firft India, in an Hand called Saylana, 
a riuer named Arotanie, fo full of fifhe, that eafily they maye take them vp 
with their handes, but as foone as a manne holdeth one of thefe filhes in 
his hande, there commeth vnto him a Feuar, and letting the fifti go, the 
Feuar is gone from hym, the caufe of it appeareth to be the nature of the 
fifh, as among vs there is a fifh which we call Torpedo, whych filh if a man 
do hold in his hand, it will be num, and grieue him : although the Indians 


faye, that it commeth by meanes of their Goddes, by a certaine tale that 
they do tell of it. 

A Fter, for an information to the reader, keeping f truth of the Hiftorie, 
jt\^ I did write thofe things rehearfed, as the fayd Nicholas gaue report, 
and then there came another out of the high India^ which ftandeth to- 
wardes Septentrion, or the North, and he came, fente vnto the Pope for 
to fee the things and manners of thefe parties, for in thofe parties they 
had fame, that in the Occident or weft there was another worlde, being 
Chriftians. And this mS declared that neare vnto Cataya there was a 
kingdome, which indured twentie dayes ioumey, the which king and 
people were Chriftians, but of the fed of the Neftorians. He declared hath 
the Patriach of the Neftorians had fent him for to bring him tydings 
certaine from thefe parties. He rehearfed that they had bigger, & more 
richer Churches than ours, being al vaulted, and that their Patriarch was 
very rich in golde and in filuer, that euery father of family did giue 
yearelye vnto him an ounce of filuer. I communed with this man, by an 
interpreter whych could the Turkifh tong, and the Latin, and I demaunded 
of him by meanes of this, the wayes, & townes, houfes, cuftoms, manners, 
and of other things that a man deUghteth to heare, there was great 
difficultie to learne it, for lacke of the interpreter, and alfo of the Indian, 
but he affirmed the power of the great cane, or Emperoure of al men, 
to be greate and mighty, for he had vnder him nyne mighty kings. 
fl Alfo he declared that he hadde trauelled many months through the 
high Scithia, is nowe Tartaria, and throughe Perjia, and that finallye he 
came vnto the riuer Euphrates, from whence he entered into the fea, and 
fayled vnto Tripole, and from thence to Venice, and from thence to Florence. 
He reported to haue feene manye Cities more faire than ours, both in 
publike edifications, and of Citizens, for he declared to haue feene many 
cities ten myles, and of twentie myles in compaffe. And after that this 
man had fpoke with eugenius the fourth Pope of that name, he wet 
from Florence for to fee Rome in deuotion: he demaunded neyther filuer 
nor gold, feeming, that he came not for gain, but only to fulfil the meffage 
of hym that fent him. ' 

IN the fame time there came vnto the Pope certaine men from Ethiopia, 
in deuotion of the faith, with whO I had communication, by an inter- 
preter, to knowe if they knew any thing of ^ riuer of JW/mj, and of his 


fpringing. Two of them gaue anfwere, that they were of a countrey being 
very neare vnto two welfprings, from whence the riuer Nilus proceedeth : 
when I hearde this, I coueted to knowe the things that of this matter the 
olde auntiente Phylofophers, namely ptolomeus, did write: firfte of the 
fountaines of Nilus. It appeareth not that they knewe it, but only by 
coniedlure, to appeare that they drew out fome things of the Originall 
increafe of the fayde riuer. And as thefe witneffes of lighte, did tell me 
of thefe and of others worthy to remayne in memorie, it feemed vnto me 
verye good to write them. 

^ They declared that the Riuer Mltis hadde his heade and Welfpryng 
neare vnto the Region Equinodiall at the foote of verye hyghe mountaynes, 
whyche are alwayes couered on the toppe with Miftes, from three wel- 
fprings, two of them ftanding .40. paces the one from the other, and in 
.500. paces they meete, and make the riuer fo great, that no man may paffe 
ouer but with boate. The thirde which is the biggeft, ftandeth a thoufand 
paces fro the other two, and he commeth into the riuer of the others, ten 
myles off. Alfo they fayde that more than .1000. riuers did enter into 
Mlus, and it increafeth fo muche in thofe countryes, with the raine of 
March, April, and May, that it maketh MIils to fwell ouer fo muche, that 
it made wonderfuU great floudes. Alfo they declared that the water of 
Mlus was verye fweete and fauerie, before he entereth among the other 
Riuers, and it hath vertue to heale thofe that haue the leaprie and fcabs, 
if they wafhe themfelues in it. And beyonde the headfprings of Nilus 
fifteene dayes ioumey, there be verye fruitefuU countries, ful of people, 
and well tilled, hauing very notable Cities, and alfo fayde that beyonde 
that countrey there was the fea, but they had not feene it, and that neare 
vnto the fpring of Mlus there was a Gitie, wherein they were borne, and 
it was fine and twentie myles in compaffe, full of people, and in the night 
had .1000. watches for to defende the Gitie from daunger and alterations 
that might rife. This region is temperate, and delegable, and plentifull of 
all thyngs, in fo much as .3. times in the yere there fpringeth new grafle, 
and twice in the yeare it beareth corne. It hath abundaunce of breade 
and wine, although the moft parte of Ethiopia vfe (in fteade of wine) 
barley fodden in water. They haue figges. Peaches, Orenges, and Gu- 
cumbers like vnto our Lemmons, Sytrons, and fauing Almonds. They 
haue al our kinde of fruites. Alfo they named diuers trees that they had, 
whiche we neuer fa we nor hearde of in our parties, and they are difficult 
to write, for that the interpreter could not altogither vnderflande the 
Arabian tongue. But of one of thofe trees, I mufte needes rehearfe, whiche 
is as thicke as a man maye compaffe, and as highe as a man. It hath 


many rynes one within another, and betweene thofe rines hath his fruite 
like vnto the Cheftnut, and being ground, it becommeth meale, and of it 
they do make pleafant white bread, which they do vfe in their bakets. 
The leafe of this tree is more than a cubit in breadth, and more than two 
cubits in length. They fayd alfo, that towardes the Ilande Meroe^ the 
JVilus coulde not be fayled, by reafon of the number of Rockes that were 
there, and that from Meroe vnto Egipt, it was nauigable, but they tarrie 
lixe moneths in the Nauigation, for that the riuer giueth manye turnes. 
Thofe that dwell in that Countrey, haue the face of the Sunne towardes 
the North, as we haue it towardes the South, and in March they haue it 
right ouer their heads. All Ethiopia hath one manner of letters, although 
they haue diuers languages, according vnto the greatneffe of the prouinces. 
Some of them that dwell in the regions towards the Sea coaft, and in the 
hart of the India, there was very much Ginger, Clones, Nutmegs, and 
Suger. Betweene Ethiopia and Egipt there be defertes of .50. dayes iourney, 
and they trauell fo farre, hauing with them prouifion of meate and drinke 
vpon Cammels. It hath dangerous paffages in many places, by reafon 
of the wilde men that go naked in thofe deferts, like wild beaftes riding 
vppon Cammels, whofe flefh and milke they do eate. They doe robbe the 
Cammels and prouifion that the trauellers carie, fo that many dye for 
hunger, and for this caufe there pafle fewe that way vnto vs. The Ethiopians 
moft commonly are of longer life than we, for many Hue vntil .120. 
yeares, and .150. yeares, and in fome places they Hue tyll .200. yeares. 
It is a Countrey much inhabited, and neuer hath the plage, nor other 
infirmities, fo with this, & with their long Hues, their multitude is much 
encreafed. They haue diuers cuftomes, according to the diuerHtie of the 
Countrey. They haue no wooU, but weare linnen and filk both men and 
women. And in fome places, the women weare long traines, and a girdk 
of a fpanne broade, trimmed with gold and precious ftones. Some of 
them weare vpon their heads a Lawne, weaued with gold: and fome 
weare their heare loofe: and fome wound vp in a lace hanging downe at 
their backes. They haue more plentye of gold and precious ftones than 
we. The men vfe to weare rings, and the women brafelets wrought of 
gold and precious ftones. From Cliriftmas vnto Lent, they feaft euerie 
day, eating and daunfing. They do vfe little Tables, fo that two or three 
may fitte at one of them, and do couer them with table clothes as we do. 
They haue but one King, whiche is entituled King of Kings, after or 
vnder God, and they faye, he hath many Kings vnder him, and that they 
haue diuers kinds of beaftes. The Oxen are crooke backed, like vnto 
Camels, with homes of three cubites in length bending vpon their backes. 


fo that vppon one of their homes they do carrie a Rundlet of wine. Their 
dogges arc of the bigneffe of our Afles, and there is fome of them that 
may do more than a Lion, and hunt with them. They haue very great 
Elephants, and bring vp fome of them for their pleafure & for hoftiUtie, 
& fome for the warres. They bring them vp of yong ones, & tame them, 
and dien kill the old. Their teeth are of fixe cubites in length. Alfo, they 
do tame and bring vp Lions, and to fhew them for a magnificece and 
often tation. Alfo, there is a kind of beaftes of diuers couloures like vnto 
the Elephant, but they haue not fuche a tronke and fhoute, they do call 
him Belus. They haue feete like vnto a Camell, and two very fharp 
homes, each of a cubit in length, the one ftandeth in his forehead, and 
the other vpon his nofe. Alfo, there is another beaft fome what lOger tha 
a Hare, but in all proportions like, whiche they nami zebet, and hath 
fuch a ftrong fmell, tJhat if at any time he rubbe himfelfe againfte any 
fmall tree, he leaueth behinde hym fuch a fweete fauour, that thofe that 
trauell and fmell it, cutte off that part of the tree where the fent is, and 
carrie it with them, and in fmall peeces do fell it deerer tha gold. Alfo 
they reported, that there is another kinde of Beaft, of nine cubits in length, 
and fixe foote in height, hauyng clouen feete like vnto an Oxe. Their 
body is a cubit in compaffe, and much like in haire vnto the Libard, 
headed like vnto a Camell, and hathe a necke of four cubites in length. 
His tayle is very thicke, and muche efteemed, for the women do worke 
with it, embrodering it with precious ftones, hanging them at their armes. 
They haue another wild beaft, which they do take hunting, and he is to 
be eaten. He is as bigge as an AfTe, flriped with couloures redde and greene, 
and hathe wreathed homes vpward, of three cubites in length. Alfo, 
there is another, much like vnto a Hare, with little homes, and of coulour 
redde, whiche giueth a greate leape. There is another muche like vnto a 
Goate, with his homes vpon his buttockes more than two cubites pending, 
and for that the fmoke of them healeth Feauers, they are folde for more 
than fortie Duckets a peece. There is another much like vnto this Beaft, 
fauing that he hathe no homes. His hayre is redde, hauing a necke of 
two cubites in length. There is another bodyed lyke vnto a Camell, and 
of the couloure of a Lybarde, hauing a necke of fixe cubites in length. 
They fayd he had a head like vnto a Deere. Alfo they fayd they had a 
bird of the height from the ground of fixe cubites, fmall legges, feete like 
a Goofe, the necke and vifage like vnto a Henne. This bird fiyeth littie, 
but runneth fafter than a Horfe. 

^ Many other things they told me, whiche I leaue vnwritten, for that I 
finde my felfe weerie. And they fayd, that there were Serpents in the 


Defertes without feete, of fiftie cubits in length, hauing a Scorpions tayle, 
and fwallow a whole Gaulfe at once. And in thefe things almoft they did 
all agree, and it feemed vnto me that they made no lie, feeing they had 
no caufe why for to lye, and I thought good to write it, for y profit of 
thofe y lift to rede. 







1. Page 15, line i 

The Prologue commences with a kind of invocation, which, however, reads 
quite differently in the Geographic Text (fr. 1 1 16), and in all the more important 
MSS. It is, moreover, in the third person. I translate direct from fr. 11 16: 

"Governors, Emperors and Kings, Dukes and Marquises, Counts, Knights and 
citizens ! and all those who would fain learn of the divers races of mankind and 
of the differences of the various regions of the World, take this book and read it." 

2. Page 15, line 22 VJiacheo 

The Geographic Text of 1824 reads " Rustacians, " which has now been corrected 
by Benedetto to "Rusticiaus." Yule used the fonn "Rusticiano," as being the 
"nearest probable representation in ItaUan form of the Rusticien of the Round- 

Table MSS " He adds, however (Introd. p. 63), that it is highly probable that 

the Pisan's real name was Rustichello, which form he found in a long hst of Pisan 
officials during the Middle Ages. It is, therefore, satisfactory to see that Benedetto 
has come to the same conclusion (p. xiii) with a mass of fresh evidence. 

3. Page 15, Une 23 /^„^^ 

Genoa. Written "Jene" in fr. 1 1 16. Frampton follows the word with a comma, 
and continues immediately with, "raigning in Conftantinople . . .." This, however, 
is the beginning of the Travels, and should be quite distinct from what has pre- 
ceded it. I have, accordingly, changed the comma to a full stop, and left a space 
of a few lines. 

This starting-point in the four leading editions is: Marsden, Bk. i. Ch. i. Sect, i; 
Pauthier and Tule, Prologue, Ch. i; Benedetto, Ch. n. 

In all future notes these four editions will be referred to simply as M., P., Y. 
and B. respectively, 

4. Page 15, line 24 

Raigning in Conftantinople. . . 

Both Ramusio (to be referred to in future as R.) and the Venetian MS called 
V by Benedetto (i.e. Staatsbib. Hamilton, 424*) give us the additional information 
that there also resided at Constantinople a magistrate representing the Doge of 
Venice — for the significance of this office of Podesta, see M. p. 4; cf. also p. Ix 
and note of his Introduction where he quotes a similar passage from the lost 
Soranzo MS (see No. 61 of the Yule-Cordier table, Y. Vol. n. p. 546). 


5. Page 15, line 25 

in theyeare of our e Lord .1250. 

So read all the best texts, but, as Marsden and all subsequent editors have 
pointed out, this is clearly an error in copying. As we shall shortly see, the brothers 
were back at Acre in 1 269, and on reaching Venice found Marco fifteen years old. 
Thus they must have left Venice in 1254 at the very earliest. Now both R. and 
F. (Frampton) state that Nicolo left his wife with child. This would date the de- 
parture at 1253-4. But neither fr. 11 16, nor any of the MSS used by Pauthier or 
Yule mention this fact. Thus, if it is a later interpolation, Nicolo may have seen 
his son before leaving Venice. The only reason for mentioning this latter point is 
that as their start from Constantinople was in all probability 1260 we cannot 
account for how the years from 1254 to 1260 were passed, unless they were engaged 
all this time at their branch house which we know they had in Constantinople. 
In any case, we are quite justified in changing 1250 to 1260. 

See fiirther Notes 20 and 2 1 . 

6. Page 15, line 30 Countrey of the Souldan 

The once prominent port of Soldaia, now Sudak, is meant. Rubruquis passed 
through it in 1 253 on his great journey to Karakorum. It hes on the south-east 
coast of the Crimea, between Uskyut and Otus. The elder Marco Polo had a 
house here. 

7. Page 16, lines i, 2 

came to a Citie of the Lorde of the Tartarians, which 
is called Barcacan 

Barka Khan was the third son of Juji, the firstborn of the famous Chinghiz 
(Genghis) Khan. His two cities, mentioned in all the important texts, were Sara 
and Bolgara (Sarai and Bolghar), both on the Volga. 

R. adds that Barka "had the reputation of being one of the most liberal and 
civilized princes hitherto known among the tribes of Tartary." 

8. Page 16, line 10 ^;^„ 

This should read Ala«, i.e. Hulaku, brother of Kublai and Mangku Khan, and 
founder of the Mongol dynasty in Persia. The war between Barka and Hulaku 
is described in that portion of the Book which Pauthier and Yule have turned into 
Book rv (P. Bk. iv. Chs. ccxxi-ccxxvi; Y. Bk. iv. Chs. xxv-xxvm; B. Chs. 
ccxxin-ccxxvm). As Yule has reduced the chapters to a few fines, and they appear 
neither in R. nor F., I have added them in fiill in Appendix II. pp. 337-39, taking 
them from Wright's edition of M. 


9. Page 16, Une 16 Buccata 

Ucaca or Ukek, on the Volga halfway between Sarai and Bolghar. The name 
occurs in widely varying forms in the different MSS. It is "Ouchacca" and 
"Oucaca" in fr. 11 16, '^Euchatha" in Bib. Nat. 3195, "Oukaka" in R., and 
"Guthaca" in the Latin version published by Grynaeus in the Mvus Orbis, 1532. 

10. Page 16, lines 17, 18 

the Riuer. . . Tygris, whiche is one of the foure that 
commeth out of Paradife terrenall 

By the "Tygris" is meant the Volga. Yule (Vol. i. p. 9) suggests that the con- 
nection in name arose out of some legend that the Tigris was a reappearance of 
the same river, and adds that the ecclesiastical historian, Nicephorus Callistus, 
appears to imply that the Tigris coming from Paradise flows under the Caspian 
to emerge in Kurdistan. Neither Y. nor B. mention the above passage which is 
foimd both in R. and the BerUn Latin text. Its inclusion in F. is very interesting, 
see P. p. 8. That portion of the text deaUng with the Volga area corresponds to: 
M. Bk, I. Ch. I. Sect, i (cont.) ; P. and Y. Prol. Ch. n; B. Ch. in. See also Note 69. 

11. Page 16, lines 22, 23 

noble Citie called Bocora, and the fame name hadde 
that Prouince, which the Kyng of that Countrey had^ 
and the Citie was called Barache 

This is obviously a mistake for " . . .and the Kyng was called Barache," i.e. 
Borrak Khan, great-grandson of Chagatai. Bokhara was considered as a part of 

12. Page 16, line 27 

This Alan is otherwife called the greate Cam 

This is, of course, a mistake. Kublai was the great Khan, and the envoys were 
on their way back to him from Hulaku. The French texts clearly say "qui aloit 
au grant sire de tous les Tartai-s." R. says the same, but adds: "qual sta ne' 
confini della terra fra Greco, & Leuante," "whose residence was at the extremity 
of the continent, in a direction between north-east and east." A similar passage 
is also found in Z ^i^d V. (As already mentioned in Note 4, V = the Berlin Staats- 
bib. MS Hamilton, 424% of the fifteenth century. It was copied in 1793, and this 
copy forms Milan, Bib. Ambrosiana, Y. 162. P.S. This must not be muddled up 
with Bib. Amb. Y. 160. P.S. which = ^.) 


13. Page 16, line 35 friendjhippe of hym 

At this point end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. in and B. Ch. iv. 

14. Page 16, line 40 and page 17, line i 

Jhall be declared in thys Booke 
Here end M. Bk. i. Ch. i. Sect, i, P. and Y. Prol. Ch. iv and B. Ch. v. 

15. Page 17, lines 7, 8 

Dukedomes in Chryjlendome, of theyr conditions 
Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. v and B. Ch. vi. 

16. Page 17, lines 12, 13 

Could fpeake the Tartarie language 
Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. vi and B. Ch. vn. 

17. Page 17, line 26 

Sepulchre of lefus Chrijle in lerufalem 

Here end Y. Prol. Ch. vn. and B. Ch. vm. The French texts mention the 
Khan's ambassador, Cogatal, early in the chapter. He appears as "Cocoball" 
in F. a few lines further on. 

18. Page 17, line 37 fell ficke and dyed 

I can find no reference to his actual death in any of the other MSS. Fr. 1 1 16 
merely says "chei amalaides," while R. reads, '*s' ammalo grauemente." 

19. Page 18, Hne i ^ ^^^^ ^^n^^ q^^^^ 

I.e. Ayas, once a famous port on the gulf of Scanderoon, thirty miles south- 
west of Adana. 

Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. vm and B. Ch. ix. They give us a little more 
information, which is also found in R. : 

" . . .so great were the natural difficulties they had to encounter, from the 
extreme cold, the snow, the ice, and the flooding of the rivers, that their progress 
was unavoidably tedious, and three years elapsed before they were enabled to 
reach a sea-port town in the Lesser Armenia, named Giazza." 


20. Page 18, lines 2, 3 

in they ear e of our Lord God .1272. 

This clearly shows a clumsy effort to make the date consistent with the wrong 
departure date, 1250 (see Note 5). F. should have gone further in his efforts, 
and when mentioning Marco's age a few Hnes lower down, should have changed 
it to twenty- two. R., giving the return as 1269 (which is quite correct), makes 
Marco's age nineteen, thereby justifying the previous 1250 date. The French 
texts all have 1260 as the return date, which should be corrected to 1269, 

Marco's age should be fifteen, as all the best texts have it. Roux, in his edition 
of fr. 1 1 16 in 1824, mistook xv for xn, but this has been since corrected. See 
further next note. 

^ ' ^ the Pope Clement was dead 

None of the early texts give his name. It appears, however, in the Grusca 
Italian as Clement, while in Bib. Nat. 3195 it is "Clementem IV" and R. has: 
"che Clemente Papa Quarto nuouamente era morto." Now Clement IV died 
in November 1268, so that R.'s "recently dead" supports their return date 
as being 1269. Furthermore, the new Pope, Gregory X, was elected in 1271, in 
November of which year the three Polos made their second start from Acre. 

22. Page 18, lines 4, 5 Miser Thebaldo 

Called "Teald de Plajence" in fr. 11 16, and "Tebaldo de' Vesconti di Pia- 
cenza" in R. 

Fr. 1 1 16 describes him as "legat por le ygUse de Rome en toutle regne d'Egipte." 
F. is somewhat abbreviated at this point. 

23. Page 18, lines 9, 10 j^i^ro Ponte 

Negroponte was the name given to the island and port of Eubcea in the thirteenth 
century; so-caUed, says Pauthier (p. 16), because there was a bridge of five arches 
of which "I'arche du milieu etait un pont-levis pour le passage des navires." After 
it had become the centre of Venetian influence in Romania, it formed a port of 
call on the Venice — Constantinople — Trebizond route. 

24. Page 18, lines 15, 16 

tarying the creation of a newe Pope 

Here end M. Bk. i. Gh. i. Sect, n (except that the sentence about the two years' 
wait begins Sect, ra), P. and Y. Prol. Ch. ix and B. Ch. x. 


^* 6 J '7 from Venice to lerufalem 

I.e. via Acre. The full itinerary, including the double start, was: Venice — 
Acre— Jerusalem — Acre — Ayas — ^Acre — ^Ayas and across Asia to K'zd-p'ing fu (the 
"Clemenfu" of R. and "Bemeniphe" of F.). 

^ ' ^ andfo departed 

Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. x and B. Ch. xi. 

27. Page 18, lines 33, 34 

they fayled incontinente to the Pope 
Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. xi and B. Ch. xn. 

28. Page 18, lines 35, 36 

two Friers J of the order of Saind Dominike 
Fr. 1 1 16 simply says "deus freres precheors," so also P., Y. and R. 

29. Page 18, lines 38, 39 

difputations in the defenfe of the holy Catholike faith 
Fr. 1 1 16 mentions "brevilejes et carte. . .," while R. is fuller: 

"To them he gave license and authority to ordain priests, to consecrate bishops, 
and to grant absolution as fiilly as he could do in his own person. He also charged 
them with valuable presents, and among these, several handsome vases of crystal, 
to be deUvered to the Grand Khan in his name and along with his benediction." 

30. Pagei9,Unei the Souldan of Babylon 

Most MSS mention his name: " Bondocdaire," "Bendocquedar," "Bundok- 
dari," etc. "Babylon" means Cairo {Bambellonia d' Egitto). 

For a good note on Bundukdar's invasion of Cicilian Armenia see Y. Vol. i. 
pp. 23, 24. 

^ ■ 5 9> 4j 5 tj^y jjijgjit notforwarde 

Here end P. and Y. Prol. Ch. xn and B. Ch. xra. 


^ ' o y' y ayeare and a halfe 

All the chief texts read three years and a half, or, to be exact, "bien trois anz 
et dimi." Thus if we take the second start from Acre as being in November 1271, 
F. lets them reach the Khan in May 1273 instead of the more correct May 1275. 

33. Page IQ, line 12 /• .. , 

^'^ ° ^ fortie dayes tourney 

The best texts add that they were honourably entertained upon the road, and 
found at each place through which they passed every comfort provided for them. 
See Marsden's interesting note (No. 43), pp. 23, 24. 
Here end M. Bk. i. Ch. i. Sect, ra, P. and Y. Prol. Ch. xra and B. Ch. xiv. 

'^*' o y' ^ Lordes and Gentlemen 

With these words F.'s "Prologue" ends, corresponding, at this point, to the 
end of P. and Y. Prol. Ch. xiv and B. Ch. xv. 

From this point the corresponding chapter numbers of M., P., Y. and B. are 
not given in these notes, but will be found in square brackets immediately beneath 
those of F. in the text of this volume. 


35. Page 22, line 2 (Chapter-headings, etc., are not counted in the 
numbering of the Lines) . 

but alfo other thrie languages 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "il soit de langaies et de quatre letres et scriture." B. supplies 
"quatre" before "langaies." The texts of both P. and Y. read "pluseurs lan- 
guages" and "iiij. lettres de leur escriptures." 

For a note on what the Izinguages might have been see Y. Vol. i. pp. 28-30. 

36. Page 22, lines 6, 7 

in one of his Countreys,Jixe Monethes iourney 

R., F, and L (which represents a Latin compendium as explziined on p. xxix 
of this volume) give the name of the city as "Garazan," "Chiarenza," and 
"Cagaram" respectively. 

Y. has shown (Vol. n. p. 67) this to refer to the province of Yunnan. 


37. Page 22, lines 20, 21 c • t j 

^' & ' > iiemor or Lorde 

This appears to be Santaella's attempt to convey the "mesere" of the text. 
But it is abbreviated — the full translation of the best texts being: 

"From the time of this ambassage onwards the young man was called Messer 
Marco Polo, and so we shall call him in this our book. And we have ample justi- 
fication in so doing for he was both learned and of good breeding." 

o ■ & i 3 }ig yuQ^ alwayes fente 

"And sometimes," adds R., "also he travelled on his own private account, 
but always with the consent, and sanctioned by the authority of the Grand Khan." 

39. Page 23, line 3 

demaunded licence for to returne to Venice 

We find much more detail in R. : 

" Our Venetians having now resided many years at the Imperial court, and in 
that time having reahzed considerable wealth, in jewels of value and in gold, 
felt a strong desire to revisit their native country, and, however honoured and 
caressed by the sovereign, this sentiment was ever predominant in their minds. 
It became the more decidedly their object, when they reflected on the very ad- 
vanced age of the Grand Khan, whose death, if it should happen previously to 
their departure, might deprive them of that public assistance by which alone they 
could expect to surmount the innumerable difficulties of so long a journey, and 
reach their homes in safety ; which on the contrary, in his Hfetime, and through 
his favour, they might reasonably hope to accompUsh. Nicolo Polo accordingly 
took an opportunity' one day, when he obser\'ed him to be more than usually 
cheerful, of throwing himself at his feet, and soliciting on behalf of himself and 
his family, to be indulged with his Majesty's gracious permission for their de- 
parture . . . ." 

The Khan refused, said he was hurt at the request and was wiUing to double 
all their possessions. 

Now the point I would hke to mention here is that in this longer account given 
only by R. (and not noted by Benedetto) is that he especially states that it was 
Nicolo, the head of the family, who made the request. The other texts say ^'they 
asked many times," yet a Httle further on all texts (except, of course, F. who 
abbreviates the whole account) agree that Marco had been away on a mission 
from which he suddenly returns at the psychological moment. Thus the rehabihty 
of R. seemed to be supported here. 


40. Page 23, lines 5, 6 

whofe name was Balgonia 

Read "Bolgana," i.e. Bulughan, wife first of Abaka, and then of Arghun, the 
"Argon" of our text. 

41. Page 23, Une 12 q^^^^^^ Apusca, and Edilla 

Ft. 1 1 16 reads: "le primer Oulatai, le segont Apusca, le tierces Coia." 

42. Page 23, lines 15, 16 

a Mayden, whiche was called Cozotine 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "Cogacin," which Y. gives as "Cocachin." The correct form of 
the name would be "Kukachin." 

43. Page 23, lines 27, 28 

was content they Jhould goe 

Yet R. adds that he " . . .showed by his countenance that it was exceedingly 
displeasing to him, averse as he was to parting with the Venetians." 

R. also has a curious passage, which Yule says is no doubt genuine, in which 
he states that the party started on their way (without any of the Polos), but that 
owing to wars they were forced to return. It was at this juncture that Marco 
chanced to return from his mission to India. 


44. Page 24, line 7 

fent diners Embajfadors to the Pope. . . 

So also fr. 11 16 which reads "a I'apostoille. . .," but Y., following Pauthier's 
text, ignores the Pope and adds "the King of England." 

45. Page 24, lines 9, 10 

foureteene great Shippes 

So also in fr. 11 16 and R., but Y. reads "thirteen." F. omits to say that the 
vessels can spread twelve sails. R. reads nine sails, and adds : 

"Among these vessels there were at least four or five that had crews of two 
hundred and fifty or two hundred and sixty men." 

I cannot trace the source of F.'s "fixe hundreth men," but see next note. 



46. Page 24, line 23 

married that mayde to his forme 

According to fr. 11 16 his name was "Casan," so also in P. and Y. Here again 
R. gives us much more detail : 

"Upon landing, they were informed that King Arghun had died some time 
before, and that the government of the country was then administered, on behalf 
of his son who was still a youth by a person of the name of Ki-akato [the "Arch- 
ator" of F. and "Chia(ca)to" of fr. 11 16]. From him they desired to receive 
instructions as to the manner in which they were to dispose of the princess, whom, 
by the orders of the late King they had conducted thither. His answer was, that 
they ought to present the lady to Kasan, the son of Arghun, who was then at a 
place on the borders of Persia, which has its denomination from the Arbor seccoy 
where an army of sixty thousand men was assembled for the purpose of guarding 
certain passes against the eruption of the enemy. This they proceeded to carry 
into execution, and having effected it, they returned to the residence of Ki-akato, 
because the road they were afterwards to take, lay in that direction. Here, how- 
ever, they reposed themselves for the space of nine months." 

F. omits to mention the great loss of men suffered on the journey. Fr. 1 1 16 says 
that of the six hundred that started, not counting sailors, only eighteen arrived. 
Y. makes the number of survivors eight. R. has quite a different account, and says 
that of all the crews and other persons six hundred were lost, and of the three 
ambassadors, only one, named Goza, survived. Of the ladies and their female 
attendants only one died. 

47. Page 25, line 3 

foure Tables of gold 

According to R., the inscription on the fourth Table began with invoking the 
blessing of the Almighty upon the Grand Khan, that his name might be held in 
reverence for many years, and denouncing the punishment of death and confisca- 
tion of goods to all who should refuse obedience of the mandate. 

F. makes no further reference to the princess, neither does.R. or most of the 
other MSS. Fr. 11 16, however, has a most interesting passage which Y. has 
translated (Vol. i. p. 36) as follows : 

"The Great Khan regarded them with such trust and affection, that he had 
confided to their charge the Qjaeen Cocachin, as well as the daughter of the king 
of Manzi [also mentioned in Bib. Naz. Florence, II. iv. 88, the Codex della Cruscd\y 
to conduct to Argon the Lord of all the Levant. And those two great ladies who 
were thus entrusted to them they watched over and guarded as if they had been 


daughters of their own, until they had transferred them to the hands of their 
Lord; whilst the ladies, young and fair as they were, looked on each of those three 
as a father, and obeyed them accordingly. 

Indeed, both Casan, who is now the reigning prince, and the Qjaeen Gocachin 
his wife, have such a regard for the Envoys that there is nothing they wotdd not 
do for them. And when the three Ambassadors took leave of that Lady to return 
to their own country, she wept for sorrow at the parting." 

See Pauthier's note on the passage, p. 32. 

48. Page 25, Une 9 ^^^j^ ^^^^ fj^^y trauelled 

R. says that during their travelling they received news of the death of Kublai 
Khan. He had died in 1 294. 

This is probably a later addition, for, as P. has pointed out, Polo always speaks 
of Kublai as if he believed him to be still alive. 


49. Page 25, lines 17, 18 

Firjl andformojl . . .as there is 

These two lines seem to be unique to F. Fr. 1116 begins directly with: "II est 
voir qu'il sunt deus Harmenies." So also with P. and Y. 

The Lesser Armenia roughly corresponds to the classical Gilicia. 

50. Page25, Hne29 a Citie called Gloza 

This is the "Laias" of fr. 11 16, the modem Ayas. See Note 19, where F. speUs 
it " Giaza" which is decidedly preferable to " Gloza." The evolution of the modem 
"Ayas" can be seen in the following forms: 

Gloza — Giaza — La Jazza — Lajazzo — Laias — Layas — Aiasso — Aias — Ayas. 

51. Page 25, lines 30-32 

haue their Cellers and Warehoufes in that Citie, as 
well Venetians, and lanoueys, and all other that do 
occupye into Leuant 

This passage seems to be unique to F. All the chief MSS merely say that Vene- 
tians and Genoese come to trade at Ayas, which cit> is a starting-point for 
merchants traveUing into the interior. 


There is, however, a further passage found both in R. and Z (the newly found 
Latin MS, Bib. Amb. Y. 160. P.S.), as well as in V (for which see p. xxix of the 
Introduction and Note 12) where it is somewhat abbreviated. It runs as follows: 

"The boundaries of the lesser Armenia are, on the south, the land of Promise, 
now occupied by the Saracens; on the north, Karamania, inhabited by Turko- 
mans ; towards the north-east lie the cities of Kaisariah, Sevasta, and many others 
subject to the Tartars; and on the western side it is bounded by the sea which 
extends to the shores of Christendom." 

Both <^ and Fadd "Turchia" before "Cayssaria, & Sevasta." 


52. Page 26, line 2 Torchomania 

This practically corresponds to Asia Minor, or perhaps better, to the Asiatic 
country of Rum. 

53. Page 26, lines 4, 5 

andfpeake the Perjian language 

This is the first occurrence of a very curious mistake, which we shall find many 
times in Frampton's translation. 

Santaella has translated "lingua per si" as "lengua de persianos"; thus instead 
of speaking a language "peculiar to themselves," we shall find peoples all over 
the East speaking "the Persian language"! 

54. Page 26, lines 8, 9 

The other, or fecond maner of people be.,. 

This is a mistake for "The other two. . . " or some similar wording, as he has 
distinctly said there are three "maner of people," and no third is given. 

55. Page 26, line 13 ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^„^ g^i^^p 

It is not easy to see Konia, Kaisariya and Sivas in these corrupted forms. 

"Chemo" must be a misprint for Chonio, the "Conio" of fr. 1116. "Ifiree" 
is intended for Casserie, while "Sebafto," the least corrupted, is the "Savast" of 
Y. and "Sevasto" of fr. 11 16. , 

56. Page 26, line 14 ^aint Blase 

Blasius, not mentioned in fi-. 11 16 or Y., but occurring in R., became patron 
saint of wool-combers, owing, apparently to the fact that before being beheaded 
(in A.D. 316) his flesh was torn off him by wool-comber's irons. 


57. Page 26, line 16 he fetteth gouernoures there 

All MSS end the chapter here, but some additional information is to be found 
in the Imago Mundi of Jacopo d' Acqui. This is reproduced by Benedetto as note (b) 
on p. 14 of his edition. See also pp. cxciii-cxcviii for details of this work, which 
he calls /. The MS is in the Ambrosian Library at Milan (D. 526). 


58. Page 26, lines 18, 19 

a greate Citie called Armenia, where they doe make 
excellente Bochachims or Buckrams 
A mistake for Arzinga or Arzingal, the modern Erzingan, ninety-seven miles 
west of Erzerum. 

R. reads "bochassini di bambagio," but exactly what these buckrams are is 
uncertain. See Yule's interesting note, Vol. i. pp. 47 et seq. 

R. and Z ^^^ that the city also produces "many other curious fabrics, which 
it would be tedious to enumerate." 

59. Page 26, lines 22-24 

Archinia . . . Archeten . . . Arzire 

These appear in Y. as "Arzinga," "Arziron" and "Arzizi"; and in B. as 
"Argingal," "Argiron" and "Dar5i9i." They correspond to the modern Er- 
zingan (which we have already had above), Erzerum, and Ardjish close to the 
north-eastern shores of Lake Van. 

It was Erzingan which was the see of an archbishop, not Ardjish as stated by F. 
R. and -^ mention a castle at Paipurth or Paperth (Baiburt), half-way between 
Trebizond and Erzerum, where is a silver mine. V also speaks of the mine, but 
does not mention Paipurth. 

60. Page 27, line 2 

y Arke of Noe on a high Mountain 

Further details are found in R., ^ and /. The fullest account is that of ^, which 
is as follows : 

"In the central part of Armenia stands an exceedingly large and high mountain, 
upon which, it is said, the Ark of Noah rested, and for this reason it is termed the 
mountain of the Ark. The circuit of its base cannot be compassed in less that 
two days. The ascent is impracticable on account of the snow towards the summit, 
which never melts, but goes on increasing by each successive fall. 


In the lower region, however, near the plain, the melting of the snow fertilizes 
the ground, and occasions such an abundant vegetation, that all the cattle which 
collect there in summer from the neighbouring country, meet with a never failing 

6i. Page 27, line 3 

towardes the Eajl called Mavfill 

In addition to Mosul, R. mentions "Maredin" (Mardin), while -Ogives "Musul 
Mus et Meridin." 


62. Page 27, lines 13, 14 

Nand Maliche . , . Dawnid 

Here the text is muddled. The correct reading should be "Davit Melic. . . 
Davit roi." 

63. Page27,Hnei6 rvUh a token or figm 

F. omits to say what sign. It was that of an eagle, as all texts clearly state. 

64. Page27,Knei7 in this Countrey 

R., Zi ^ ^^d ^ ^^^ giv^ details of the country not found in other texts. See 
B. p. 16. 

The passage in R. is as follows : 

"One part of the country is subject to the Tartars, and the other part, in con- 
sequence of the strength of its fortresses, has remained in the possession of its 
native princes. It is situated between two seas, of which that on the northern 
(western) side is called the Greater sea (Euxine), and the other, on the eastern 
side, is called the sea of Abakii (Caspian). This latter is in circuit two, thousand 
eight hundred miles, and partakes of the nature of a lake, not communicating 
with any other sea. It has several islands, with handsome towns and castles, some 
of which are inhabited by people who fled before the Grand Tartar, when he 
laid waste the kingdom or province of Persia, and took shelter in these islands or 
in the fastnesses of the mountains, where they hoped to find security. Some of 
the islands are uncultivated. This sea produces abundance of fish, particularly 
sturgeon and salmon at the mouths of the rivers, as well as others of a large sort. 
The general wood of the country is the box-tree." 


^* ^ ' ' Tower and gate ofyron 

The French texts add further details. Y. translates : 

"This is the place that the Book of Alexander speaks of, when it tells us how he 
shut up the Tartars between two mountains; not that they were really Tartars, 
however, for there were no Tartars in those days, but they consisted of a race of 
people called Comanians and many besides." 

66. Page27,Une32 ^^^^^^ 
R. adds, "of a species named avigi." 

67. Page 28, lines 4, 5 

a Monajlerie of Monckes of. . , Saint Bernarde 

This seems to be a corruption from the "monasterio intitolato di San Lunardo 
di monachi" of R. 

It was, however, a nunnery called St Leonard's. 

The reading of fr. 11 16 is: "un monester de nonain qui est apel6 sant 
Lionard. . . ." So also in P. and Y. 

68. Page 28, lines 8, 9 

Geluchelan . . .Jixe hundred Miles compajje 

The Caspian; fr. 11 16 and Y. read "seven hundred," the former definitely 
stating that figure is the circumference ("gire") of the lake. Benedetto, with the 
help of the ^, L and V MSS. has altered " VIJc to " IImVIIc" which is undoubtedly 
correct. The Caspian is 760 miles long and its circumference has been given by 
Halbfass {Peter. Mitt. Geog. Erganz. No. 185, pp. 18-19) as 6000 kilos. Thus Yule's 
objection (Vol. i. p. 59) to 2700 miles as being too large is quite unfounded. 
It is just about 1000 miles too small. 

^* ^° ' from Paradice terrenall 

Cf. with Note 10. Here again the passage seems to be unique to F. 
For an article on the four rivers of Paradise, mentioned in Genesis ii. 10-14, see 
Hastings, Did. of the Bible, under "Eden." 

70. Page 28, line 13 a Jilke called Gella 

Spelt "GeUe" in fr. 11 16, written by B. as "G[h]elle." 

The name given to the silk is undoubtedly derived from " Ghel," the Caspian. 



71. Page 28, line 20 

a Patriarke, called lacobia 

Read "Jatolic" with B., P. and Y., standing for Ka6o\iK6<;. See Y. Vol. i. 
p. 61. 

F. omits to add that he sends them out to India, Baudas, and Cathay, just as 
the Pope does in the Latin countries. 

72. Page 28, line 24 

and of other Merchandife 

Apart from muslins and spices, Y. speaks of pearls and cloths of silk and gold. 

At the end of the chapter R., Z, L and V mention both "Mus" (Mush) and 
"Merdin" (Mardin), and refer to the large quantities of cotton they produce. 
The "Cordos" are, of course, the Curds. 


73. Page 29, line 3 

chiefe gouexnour & head 

All the best texts add "as at Rome the Pope is of all the Christians." 

74. Page 29, lines 10, 11 

BetwSene Baldach and Chifi vppon the Rimr is a Citie 
called Bar/era 

The fact that in all MSS Polo makes the Tigris flow through Baghdad (Baldach 
of F.; Baudac of fr. 11 16), Basra and the island of Kais (Chili), about 165 miles 
from the mouth of the gulf, is surely sufficient to show he is not speaking from 
personal knowledge. If he ever did visit Baghdad personally we would expect a 
much more definite proof of the fact. See pp. xxxiv et seq. of the Introduction. 

75. Page 29, line 13 

cloth of Najichy of Chrimfon. . . 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "nassit et nac et cremosi" — "stuffs of silk and gold." See 
Y. Vol. I. pp. 65, 66. The text then explains how the materials are wrought 
with figures of animals, but F., not reahzing the connection, tells us that the 
country is well supplied with "foure footed Beaftes" and "Fowles." See, further, 
Note 207. 


76. Page 29, line 15 

This Citie is one of the beji. . . 

Before this statement R., Z> ^ ^^^ ^ have an additional passage. R. reads: 
"Almost all the pearls brought to Europe from India have undergone the process 
of boring, at this place. The Mahommedan law is here regularly studied, as are 
also magic, physics, astronomy, geomancy and physiogonomy." 

77. Page 29, line 18 .^^^o... .Alan. . . 
Read with the best texts " 1255. . . Alau. ..." 

78. Page29,Unei9 and take it by force 

R. contains considerably more detail about the capture of Baghdad and the 
death of the last of the Abbasides, Mosta'sim Billah. As the passage in question 
is lengthy, it wiU be found in full in Appendix II. No. i, pp. 263, 264. 


79. Page 30, line i 

Totis is a greate Citie. . .of Baldach 

Read "Toris [Tauris] . . .of Yrac [Trak]." 

F. has given this chapter before the account of the miracle of the mountain, 
which comes first in all the best MSS. 

80. Page 30, lines 7, 8 

and of Ofmafeilli, and of Cremes 

I.e. of Mosul and Cremosor or Garmsir, the Hormuz district of the Persian 
Gulf. Y. omits "Mosul," which is curious as it is in both P. and fr. 1116. 

° "^ ' ^ robbers and killers 

R. JZ ^^d V give additional information. I take the following from R. : 
"The Mahommedan inhabitants are treacherous and unprincipled. According 
to their doctrine, whatever is stolen or plundered from others of a different faith, 
is properly taken, and the theft is no crime; whilst those who suffer death or 
injury by the hands of Christians, are considered as martyrs. If, therefore, they 
were not prohibited and restrained by the powers who now govern them, they 
would commit many outrages. These principles are common to all the Saracens. 


When they are at the point of death their priest attends upon them and asks 
whether they believe that Mahommed was the true apostle of God. If their 
answer be that they do believe, their salvation is assured to them; and in con- 
sequence of this facility of absolution, which gives free scope to the perpetration 
of everything flagitious, they have succeeded in converting to their faith a great 
proportion of the Tartars, who consider it as relieving them ifrom restraint in the 
commission of crimes. From Tauris to Persia is twelve days journey." 

Ramusio then gives a short chapter: "Of the Monastery of Saint Barsamo, in 
the neighbourhood of Tauris." There is no need to give it here as Y. has included 
it in fuU (Vol. i. p. 77). It is curious, however, that he does not print it between 
square brackets, to show it is from R. 


82. Page 30, line 14 

In Mofull, a Citie in the Prouince of Baldach 

Here again our text is muddled. It should place the miracle as having taken 
place between the two cities. 

Fr. 1 1 16 gives the date, omitted in Y., as 1275. For a note on this see B. p. 20. 

83. Page 32, lines 25, 26 

he lyued and dyed like a true andfaythfull Chrijlian 

So ends F.'s abbreviated account of the legend. R. and Z have two unique 
passages. Firstly, after the cobbler has offered up his prayer he cries in a loud 
voice: "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I command thee, O 
mountain, to remove thyself! " 

Secondly, the chapter in R. ends with the following : 

"In commemoration of this singular grace bestowed upon them by Grod, all 
the Christians, Nestorians, and Jacobites, from that time forth have continued to 
celebrate in a solemn manner the return of the day on which the miracle took 
place, keeping fast also on the vigil." 


84. Page 32, line 30 the thrie Kings 

Fr. 1 1 16 and Y. distinctly read "three Magi." Their names are given as Beltasar, 
Caspar and Melchior. 


85. Page 33, line 7 Calajfa Tapezifien 

Fr. 1 1 16 has "Gala Ataperistan," so also P. and Y. Its locality has not yet 
been ascertained, but Y. would put it between Saveh and Abhar. See also Cordier, 
Ser Marco Polo, p. 18. 

Chapter 13 of F., representing an abbreviation of two corresponding chapters 
in P., Y. and B., is not found in R. 


86. Page 34, Hne i ^^^f^f Kingdoms 

Viz. Kazvin, Kurdistan, Luristan, Shulistan, Ispahan (the reading in Y. is 
"Istanit," an obvious corruption; B. has "Isfaan"), Shiraz, Shabankara and 
Tun-o-Kain. Some of the readings in F. are sadly corrupted. He omits to mention 
that a'' the above kingdoms lie towards the south, except the last which lies in 
an easterly direction bordering on the country of the Arbre Sec, or Arbre Sol. 

87. Page 34, line 7 „. - ^ , 

& courfers of great value 

F. omits to mention the actual prices; " . . .il vendent le un bien cc libre de 
tamis" and the asses, "un trointe mars d'argent" says fr. 1 1 16. Yule states that the 
livre ?o«mow of Marco's timewas equivalent to aUttle over 18 francsof modem (1903) 
French silver. ^ and R. have a passage about the advantages of the ass over the 
horse. R. adds: "Camels also are employed here, and these in like manner carry 
great weights and are maintained at little cost, but they are not so swift as the 

88. Page 34, lines 9, 10 

Atnfo, & of Arcones 

These are very corrupted forms of Chisi and Curmosa. 

^* ^ 3'*' ^ robbed or taken prifoner 

R. adds: "A regulation is also established that in all roads, where danger is 
apprehended, the inhabitants shall be obliged, upon the requisition of the mer- 
chants to provide active and trusty conductors for their guidance and security, 
between one district and another; who are to be paid at the rate of two or three 
groats for each loaded beast, according to the distance." 


Both R. and ^ have an interesting passage about wine-drinking: 
"Should anyone assert that the Saracens do not drink wine, being forbidden 
by their law, it may be answered that they quiet their consciences on this point 
by persuading themselves that if they take the precaution of boiUng it over the 
fire, by which it is partly consumed and becomes sweet, they may drink it without 
infringing the commandment; for having changed its taste, they change its name, 
and no longer call it wine, although it is such in fact." 


^ * & 34j 9 /a/oy is a goodly Citie. . . 

I.e. Yasdi, or Yezd. 

^ ' ° "^^' ^ another language 

This mention of language seems to be unique to F. 

" ' ° ^^^ ^ eyght dayes 

So also in R., but the French texts read "seven." 

93. Page 35, line I ^.^^^^^^ 

Read "Cherman," the "Kierman" of R., the "Creman" of P., the modem 

94. Page 35, line 2 

of a great and long inheritance 

All the best texts give more details: " . . .it was formerly governed by its own 
Princes in hereditary succession; but since the Tartars brought it under their 
dominion, the rule has ceased to be hereditary and they appoint as governors 
what lords they wish." 

95. Page 35, line 5 

plentie of Uayne^ or Ore ofStMe, and of calamita 

Read "plentie of veins of steel and ondanique." 

E. H. Parker {Journ. North China Br. Roy. As. Soc. xxxvm. 1907, p. 225) considers 
the "ondanique" to be the/»m t'leh^ or "pig iron" of the Chinese. See Gordier, 
op. cit, p. 19. 


" ' ° ^^' eyght dayes 

As before (Note 92) read "seven." 

97. Page 35, line 19 

ham ynough to do to line 

This corresponds to the end of M. Bk. i. Ch. xni, Y. Bk. i. Ch. xvn and B. 
Ch. XXXV, but Z contributes an entirely fresh passage on Kirman and its king. 
See B. p. 27 note a. 

98. Page 35, lines 22-24 

Camath. . .Reobarle 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "Camandi. . .Reobar," i.e. Camadi and Rudbar. See the map 
facing p. xxxvi, of the Introduction. 

99. Page 35, line 25 

goodly frutes in great abundance 

At this point R. (also Z) reads: "Turtle doves are found here in vast numbers, 
occasioned by the plenty of small fruits which supply them with food, and their 
not being eaten by the Mahommedans, who hold them in abomination." All the 
best texts then continue: 

"and on this plain there is a kind of bird which is called francolin, but different 
from other francohns of other countries, for their colour is a mixture of black 
and white, and their feet and beak are red." 

100. Page 35, line 31 

a greate tayle. . .that will weigh .32. pound 

Fr. 1 1 16 and all leading texts read "thirty" or "a good thirty." On the fat- 
tailed sheep of Persia see Cordier, op. cit. p. 19. 

loi. Page35,Une33 ^^^^^^^ 

I.e. Karaunaha, for which see Yule's note, Vol. i. pp. loi etseqq., and Cordier, 
op. cit. p. 21. 

F. omits to mention that they ride abreast to about the number of 10,000, but 
sometimes more or fewer. 

102. Page 36, line i 

Their King is called Hegodar 

I.e. Nogodar. F. omits to describe the most interesting inroad to Kashmir, as 
given in all the best MSS. See Introduction, p. xl, and accompanying map. 


R. gives a few extra details about the "Karaunas": 

" . . .and these are the people who have since been in the practice of committing 
depredations, not only in the country of Reobarle, but in every other to which 
they have access." 

After speaking of the magical darkness (dry fog and dust storm), he adds: 
"Most frequently this district is the scene of their operations; because when 
the merchants from various parts assemble at Ormuz, and wait for those who are 
on their way from India, they send, in the winter season, their horses and mules 
[sic Marsden, but the text has "muli e cameUi," mules and camels, very distinctly; 
"cavalli" is Ramusio's word for horses] which are out of condition from the length 
of their joumies, to the plain of Reobarle, where they find abundance of pasture 
and become fat. The Karaunas, aware that this will take place, seize the oppor- 
tunity of effecting a general pillage, and make slaves of the people who attend 
the cattle, if they have not the means of ransom." 

^* 5 3 J 4 Q towne called Ganajfalim 

Santaella's text gives "n" as the last letter. The 1503 edition has only one "s," 
i.e. Canosalmi, as in fr. 11 16; or Conosalmi as in Y. Its identification is not 
certain, but the suggestion of Houtum-Schindler, that it is the ruined town of 
Kamasal (Kahn-i-asal) near Kahn-i-panchar and Vokilabad, seems to be much 
the best. 

F. says Polo lost many of his companions. Fr. 1 1 16 has "sex" and P. has "seft." 

104. Page 36, lines 5-7 

and is offeauen dayes iourney, and at the end of them 
is a moutayne, called Detujllyno, that is eightiene miles 
long. . . 

All the best texts read "five" days journey, but there is nothing about a moun- 
tain called Detustlyno. Fr. 1 1 16 reads: 

" . . .un autre chnee que convent que Ten aille pur au declin xx milles. . .." 
Santaella's text clearly says "vn monte que Uaman DetufcHno que dura en 
luengo feys leguas y media." Thus F. is true to his text, except that "t" has 
become "c," and "i" appears as "y." We can, however, see the "clinee" of the 
French texts in Sontaella's jumbled word. 

^* & 3 ' ^ y ffig goodly playne 

I.e. Harmuza, the "Formosa" of the French texts. 


106. Page36,Unei2 citie called Carmoe 

The "Cormos" of fr. 11 16, and "Hormos" of Y. It is the Old Hormuz, on the 
mamland near the present Minab, later transferred to the island. See A. T. Wilson, 
The Persian Gulfy 1928, pp. 100-109. 


107. Page 36, lines 17, 18 

the king is called Minedanocomoyth 

Written "Ruemedan Acomat" in fr. 11 16 and "Ruomedan Ahomet" in Y. 
This is Rukn ud Din Muhammad (Wilson, op. cit. p. 104) or possibly Rokn 
ed-Din Mahmud III (Cordier, op. cit. p. 24), but see further. Note iii. 

108. Page 36, lines 19, 20 

they doe make hauocke of all his goods 
All the best texts state that the king confiscates the property of the deceased. 

109. Page 36, line 27 

And for the great heate in the Sommer. . . 

F. has xmfortunately omitted the important section about the boats being un- 
seaworthy. This plays a part in our attempt to reconstruct the itinerary through 
Persia. See p. xxxvi of the Introduction. 

The account of the summer heat is much abbreviated, and the terror of the hot 
wind ignored. Ramusio has an interesting story about the "ruler of Ormus" 
and how his body of troops wzis suffocated by the hot wind. 

In view of the above, I have reprinted all these passages from R. in full. See 
Appendix II. No. 2, pp. 264, 265. 


1 10. Page 37, lines 8, 9 

and not declaring any more, of the Indians 

This is a mistake for "not go on to declare about India," or some such statement; 
the original corresponding passage in fr. 1 1 16 is: 

"Et ne vos contaron de Endie a cestiu point, car vos bien le conterai en notrc 
Uvre avant, quant tens et leu sera." 


111. Paffe 37, line iq ^ , 

° '^'' ^ Reu me da vacomare 

This apparently represents a very corrupt form of Ruemedan Acomat, as 
found in fr, 11 16. There is considerable difficulty in determining which king of 
Hormuz is meant. It should be either Ruknuddin Masa'iid or Fakhruddin 
Ahmed (the speUings vary greatly), though it is possible that Polo has muddled 
the two and so produced his Ruemedan Acomat, or Ruomedam Ahomet (as in 
Yule's texts). Frampton has inadvertently connected this ruler with the Old 
Man of the Mountain whose cruelties are made the excuse for Polo's returning to 
Kirman by a different route. There should be, of course, no connection whatever. 
Polo had experienced extreme cold on his journey to Hormuz, but apart from not 
wishing to endure this again unnecessarily, he would also have to encoimter a 
"slope" that took over two days to come down. No wonder he preferred another 
route on the return journey. F. tells us nothing of this route. It was in zdl 
probability via the Urzu district and Baft. See the Introduction, p. xxxvii. It is 
described as lying through fine plains with "abundance de viandes," including 
partridges, fruits (especially dates), wheaten bread, which is bitter owing to the 
water, and hot baths which cure the itch and other skin diseases. 

112. Page 37, line 17 

in theyeare of our Lord .1272. Alan, , . 

Fr. 1 116 reads "1262," and Y. "1252," which latter is the more correct date. 
See Y. Vol. i. p. 146. The name should, of course, read "Alau," for Hulaku. 
He took the fortress of Alamut in 1265. By jumping to this part of the story of the 
Old Man of the Mountain, F. not only misses out all the first part of the tale, 
but omits the portion of the itinerary from Kirman to Cobinan (Kuh-Banan) and 
Tunocain (Tun and Kain). See Introduction, pp. xxxvii-xxxviii. 

I have, accordingly, restored all this in Appendix II. No. 3, pp. 266-8. 


113. Page 38, lines 2, 3 

with all things in itfittefor mans fujlenance 

The French texts add that armies (les ost) gladly stay here on account of the 
great plenty that exists. 

114. Page 38, lines 5, 6 

Jpeake the Persian language 

F. has this instead of "et les homes aorent Maomet" as found in fr. 1116 and 
other leading texts. 


115. Page s8, line 7 , •, 

Fr. 1 1 16 has "Et alcune foies trouve Ten desert de lx milles, et de l, es quelz 
ne i se trove eive, . . . ." 

P. reads " . . . de soixonte milles ou de mains," while R. has "40 or 50." I rather 
suspect this latter is correct, and that the "lx" of fr. 11 16 is a mistake for "xl." 

Y. writes "50 or 60" without comment. 

116. Page 38, line 10 

a Citie called Semper gayme 

This is the "Sapurgan" of all the best MSS, as well as R. 

117. Page 38, line 1 1 

There he excellente good Mellones 

This is abbreviated. The French texts add that the fruit is cut in strips, and 
dried in the sun, when it becomes sweeter than honey. In this form it finds a 
large sale in all the country round. 


118. Page 38, line 14 ^ ^.^.^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ 

In speaking of "Baldach," i.e. Balk, F. omits to mention its former greatness 
now reduced owing to the injury received at the hands of the Tartars. "Many of 
its fine palaces and marble buildings are still visible," add the texts (including R.), 
"but only in a ruinous state." 

119. Page 38, line 17 

fpeake the Perjian long, and be all of the fed of 

As before, in Note 114, the reference to the language is an addition of F. The 
second part of the line, however, is found in fr. 1 1 16: "Les gens aorent Maomet," 
but not in the Y. texts. It must also be in the majority of the Pipino texts as it is 
in R. as well as F. 

120. Page 38, lines 19, 20 

And departing from this Citie. . .you Jhall goe two 
dayes . . . 

Here, as in R., no fresh place is mentioned, and in two days we arrive at "Thay- 
chan" (Talikan). In Yule and fr. 11 16, however, we hear of "Dogana" (called 


"Gana" in two of the P. texts), after leaving which a twelve days' ride brings 
the travellers to Talikan. 

It is very difficult to determine where "Dogana" is and what is included by 
the term. I have discussed the question as best I can in the Introduction, p. xl. 

5 39> ^ Towne called Thaychan 

The account of Talikan is abbreviated. The fullest account is found in R. : 
" . . .you reach a castle named Thaikan, where a great market for com is held, 
it being situated in a fine and fruitful country. The hills that lie to the south of it 
are large and lofty. They all consist of white salt, extremely hard, with which the 
people, to the distance of thirty days' journey round, come to provide themselves, 
for it is esteemed the purest that is found in the world; but it is at the same time 
so hard that it cannot be detached otherwise than with iron instruments. The 
quantity is so great that all the countries of the earth might be supplied from thence. 
Other hills produce almonds and pistachio nuts, in which articles the natives 
carry on a considerable trade." [This last passage occurs only in R. and Z-l 


122. Page 39, line 9 

do fpeake the Perjian language 

See Note 119, first paragraph. 

123. Page QQ line 10 r 1 j - 

^ & o^' Jingular good zmnes 

The French MSS add that the wine is boiled. 

CHAPTER 21 (misprinted 12 by F.) 

124. Page SQj line iq r j 

t & o:yf J foure dayes tourney 

Read "three" days with all the best texts. 

5- 6 39> in 4 ^ ^^^^^ called Echafen 

I.e. Casem, the modem Kishm. The French MSS add that it is subject to a 
count ("un cuens"). 

126. Page 39, lines 17, 18 

many wilde beajles 
F. omits to mention porcupines by name, which are described as rolling them- 
selves into balls and shooting out their quills at the hunting-dogs. 


127. Page 39, line 20 doe Jpeake the Perfian tong 
Here is the old mistake for "lingua per si." See Note 53. 


128. Page 40, line 6 

Ballajia is a great prouince, & they do Jpeake the 

Perfian tong 
This is Badashan, the modem Badakhshan, in north-east Afghanistan. For 
"Perfian tong" read "a language peculiar to themselves." See Note 53. 
R. adds that the kingdom is a full twelve days' journey in length. 

129. Page j^Oj line 9 

Darius king ofPerfia. . .Culturi 

F. has omitted "daughter of" before "Darius." 

"Culturi" is a very corrupted form of "Zulcamein," i.e. Zu-'lkarnain, the 
"two-horned," an Arabic epithet of Alexander which probably arose from the 
homed portraits on his coins. See Y. Vol. i. pp. 160, 161. 

^ * & 4 > Jiones, called Ballajfes 

I.e. the balas-ruby, a rose-red spinel, deriving its name from Badakhshan and 
Balk. The mines are in the Gharan country, which stretches along both sides of 
the Oxus. They have not been worked for a very long time. References are 
extremely scarce, but Romanowski, in his Materialien zur Geologie von Turkestan, 
1880, p. 37, quotes A. Born, Reise in der Bucharei, 1831-3, m. Th. i. pp. 292-4, 
Moscow, 1849, where there is a brief description of the mines. See also Stein, 
Innermost Asia, Vol. 11. p. 877. 

^ ' & 4 > greate plenty ofjiluer 

I can find nothing concerning these mines at the Geological Society or elsewhere, 
save the notes by Wood, Journey to theSource ojthe River Oxus. They were known by the 
name of Ldjwurd, and lay in the Koran valley of the Kolicha. See Y. Vol. i. p. 162. 

132. Page 40, line 18 

there be very good courjers, or horjes 
Here F. has abbreviated very much, while R., on the other hand, has several 
additions. The whole passage from R. is therefore given in full. See Appendix H. 
No. 4, pp. 269, 270. 



133. rage 41, lines 1,2 ^ 

eyght dayes iourney . . .a prouince called AbaJJia 

All texts read "ten." This is Pashai or Pasciai, which as we have seen (Intro- 
duction, p. xli) is an area in Kafiristan stretching as far east as the Kunar river. 
The old mistake about the "Perfian tong" follows. See Note 53. 

TO. p r CHAPTER 25 

134. Page 41, line 9 ^ 

a Prouince called Thajfymur 
Written "Thafsimur" in the chapter heading. This is, of course, Kashmir. 
See Note 53 re "Perfian tong," as before. 

135. Page 41, lines 14, 15 

The people of that Countrey be blacke and leane 

Not "the people," but "the men"; and the best texts proceed: "but the women, 
although dark, are very beautiful." 

^ ' 4 > 9 There be alfo Hermites 

This is abbreviated. The fullest account is in R. In the following passage the 
part about the natives not killing animals is exclusive to Z ^^'^ R* • 

"They have amongst them a particular class of devotees, who live in com- 
munities, observe strict abstinence in regard to eating, drinking and the inter- 
course of the sexes, and refrain from every kind of sensual indulgence, in order 
that they may not give offence to the idols whom they worship. These persons 
hve to a considerable age. They have several monasteries, in which certain superiors 
exercise the functions of our abbots, and by the mass of the people they are held 
in great re\ erence. The natives of this country do not deprive any creature of 
life, nor shed blood, and if they are incUned to eat flesh-meat, it is necessary that 
the Mohamedans who reside amongst them should slay the animal." 

*''* & 4 > 5 ifi^^g dayes iourney 

This should read "twelve" with the best MSS. 

138. Page 42, lines 9, 10 

a Citie called Vochayn 
The "Vocan" of fr. 1 1 16 and " Vokhan" of Y., the modem Wakhan. Y. also tells 
us that the inhabitants are gallant soldiers, and have a chief whom they call None, 
which is as much as to say County and they are Uegemen to the Prince of Badashan. 



139. Page 42, lines 19-21 

And of thefe homes . . . mountaine called Plauor, you 
Jhall trauell tenne dayes iourney 

This is the first time the Pamirs are mentioned in any work. The form has been 
well preserved as both fr. 11 16 and Yule read "Pamier." F.'s corrupted form is 
merely due to the numerous languages and scribes through which it has passed. 

Apart from the uses mentioned to which the horns of the Pamir sheep {Ovis 
Poll) are put, Ramusio adds : 

"and with the same materials they construct fences for enclosing their cattle, 
and securing them against the wolves, with which, they say, the country is in- 
fested, and which likewise destroy many of these wild sheep and goats. Their 
horns and bones being found in large quantities, heaps are made of them at the 
sides of the road, for the purpose of guiding travellers at the season when it is 
covered with snow." 

The passage about the wolves is also in ^. The latter portion attests to the 
veracity of Ramusio. The piles of heaped horns have been noted by several 
travellers; see Y. Vol. i. p. 176. 

For "tenne dayes iourney," read "twelve" with all the best MSS. 

140. Page 43, lines 3, 4 

the fire hath not thefi:rength to feethe their victuals ^ as 
in other Countries 

In the first place, F. omits to tell us that the country is so cold that you never 
see birds flying. (See Stein, Innermost Asia, Vol. 11. p. 860.) In the second place, 
we note that R. introduces the remark about the fire by: "and however extraordi- 
nary it may be thought, it was affirmed, that from the keenness of the air, fires 
when lighted do not give the same heat as in lower situations, . . . ." 

This reads as if Polo had not seen the phenomenon for himself, but here we 
can surely see the hand of the editor who, while anxious to record what he reads, 
finds his own creduUty a bit strained at times. 

See the interesting notes on the subject collected by Y. Vol. i. p. 1 78. 

CHAPTER 29 (misprinted 39 by F.) 

141. Page 43, lines 12, 13 

And this Countrey is called Bofor 

Written "Belor" in fir. 11 16 and "Bolor" in Yule. Its exact modem equivalent 
is unknown, but the dreary route described by Polo must refer to the district 


east of Little Pamir, and his itinerary would have led him past Muztagh-Ata 
and on towards the Gez defile. 

It is interesting to note that this chapter is actually slightly fuller than the 
French texts. 

CHAPTER 30 (misprinted 40 by F.) 

142. Page 43, line 16 ^^j^^^^ 

This is, of course, Kashgar. R. says the inhabitants produce flax and hemp as 
well as cotton, ard that besides being covetous and sordid, they eat badly and 
drink worse ! 

F. makes his usual mistake about the "Perfian tong." See Note 53. 


143. Page 44, line i 

Sumarthan is a Citie great and /aire 

R. adds that Samarkand is adorned with beautiful gardens, and surrounded 
by a plain, in which are produced all the fruits that man can desire. 

F. describes the city as being under the "great Cane," but fr. 11 16 has "neveu 
dou grant can," while Y. adds his name as "Caidou." A little lower F. speaks of 
"a brother of the greate Cane" without giving his name. This is, however, given 
in most MSS as " Ciagatai " or " Sigatay." It should be pointed out that Chagatai 
was uncle, not brother, to the Great Khan. 

F.'s account of the miracle is, as usual, somewhat abbreviated. 

144. Page 44, line 23 

a prouince called Carcham 

This is Yarkand, and appears practically the same, "Yarcan," in the French 


There is the following interesting addition found in Zt ^> ^ ^^'^ R- • 
"Provisions are here in abundance, especially cotton. The people are craftsmen. 

They are largely afflicted with swellings in the legs, and tumours in the throat, 

occasioned by the quality of the water they drink." 

In support of the above, Sven Hedin notes that to-day three-fourths of the 
population of Yarkand are suffering from goitre. 



145. Page 45, lines i, 2 

Chota. . .fine dayes tourney 

All the best texts describe Khotan as being eight days in length. It is very 
interesting to note that in common with R. alone F. speaks of wine, fruits, oil, 
wheat, and bariey as well as cotton wool. 

146. Page 45, line 7 

good and valiaunt men of armes 

Here F. has turned a negative into a positive. Fr. 11 16 cleariy reads "II ne 
sunt pas homes d'armes." 


47' 6 45> Poym is a small prouitice 

Also written "Pern" (fr. 11 16) and "Pein" (Y.). It is the "Pimo" of Hiuen- 
Tsiang, and is probably to be identified with the modem Kenya. See Introduc- 
tion, p. xlii. 

^ ' ° '^^' ^ fiftiene or thirtie dayes 

All the best MSS distinctly say "twenty." 


149. Page 45, line 20 

a great Citie called Ciarchan 

This place has preserved its name unaltered — Charchan or Chachan. The 
form given by F. closely resembles the "Ciarcian" of fr. 11 16. 

There is some mistake here. The texts clearly read "when an army passes 
through the land " 

^ * 6 4 J fering the ill people 

;. The texts clearly 

151. Page 46, lines 14, 15 

a gret Citie called lob 

I.e. Lop, the modern Charkhlik, on the edge of the desert. See Stein, Innermost 
Asia, Vol. I. pp. 163 et seq., and Map 30 in Vol. iv; also Serindia, Vol. i. pp. 31 1 «/ seg. 


^ * & 4- 3 ^ the found of Tabers . . . 

The fullest account of these spirits of the desert is to be found in R. : 

"... In the night-time they are persuaded they hear the march of a large 
cavalcade on one side or the other of the road, and concluding the noise to be 
that of the footsteps of their party, they direct theirs to the quarter from whence 
it seems to proceed ; but upon the breaking of day, find they have been misled 
and drawn into a situation of danger .... It is said also that some persons, in 
their course across the desert, have seen what appeared to them to be a body of 
armed men advancing towards them, and apprehensive of being attacked and 
plundered have taken to flight .... They find it necessary also to take the pre- 
caution before they repose for the night, to fix an advanced signal, pointing out 
the course they are afterwards to hold, as well as to attach a bell to each of the 
beasts of burthen for the purpose of their being more easily kept from straggling." 
Stein {Innermost Asia, Vol. i. p. 306) says this fear of danger from evil spirits is 
as lively to-day as ever. 


153. Page 47, lines 2, 3 

Sangechian . . . Tanguith 

I.e. Sachiu or Saciou, the modern Sha-chau or Tun-huang on the Tang-ho. 
Tanguith is a corruption for Tangut, the modern Kansu. 

154. Page 47, lines 12-14 

the which they can not doe, for they haue neyther mouth 
nor fenfe, and feeing their Idols do not eate it. . . 

This has been added in deference to the Christian readers who could never 
believe that the idol really ate the food! but fr. 1 1 16 makes it clear, whereas Yule 
misses the point by saying, "And, if you will believe them, the idol feeds on the 
meat that is set before it!" Fr. 1116 reads: "et dient que le ydre menuient la 
sostance de la cars." This we can all understand. R., Z^ L and Fadd "The priests 
of the idol have for their portion the head, the feet, the intestines, and the skin, 
together with some parts of the flesh." 

155- Page 47, line 20 

all clothed in cloth of golde andjilke 

It was not the mourners who were so dressed, but a small house was draped 
with cloths of silk and gold, before which the body was set down and offered food 
and drink. 


^ ' & 4 > dfifi pill if ifi d coffin 

R. adds: "the joints or seams they smear vsdth a mixture of pitch and lime, and 
the whole is then covered with silk." 

157. Page 48, line 8 

remoue him to fome other Jide of the houfe 

Here F. misunderstands the text. A hole was to be made in the wall through 
which the body was to be taken. R. adds a passage saying that any mishaps 
which occur later are attributed to some breach of the etiquette. 


158. Paee 48, line 10 ^, , • , 

^ at' Chamul is a prouince 

I.e. Hami, lying off the main route to the north-west. This may have been the 
route followed by the elder Polos. See Introduction, p. xliii, where I have dis- 
cussed this digression and the additional mention of "Carachoco" as found in 
the Z *^ct. 

159. Page 48, line 26 

the greate Cane that is pajle 

The best texts give his name, Mongu or Mangu Kaan. 


160. Page 40, line 6 u- -t 1 - t. • 

& t^i Hingmtala is a prouince 

Fr. 1 1 16 has "Ghinghintalas." Its exact locality has not been determined, but 
following Polo's description closely I have suggested (Intrc'duciion, p. xliv) that 
it should in all probability be looked for in the neighbourhood of Barkul. 

161. Page 49, lines 13, 14 

that whiche is called Salamandra 
F. omits to mention that steel and ondanique are also found. In most texts 
Polo explains that it was a Turkish friend of his, named Zurficar, who told iiim 
all about the Salamanders, or Jisbestos. See Laufer, T'oung Pao, Vol. xvi. 191 5, 
PP- 299-373- 

8 49* 7 ^ prouince called Sachur 

The ten days must be taken from Tun-Huang (or Sachiu) to which Polo now 
returns. Sachur is the "Succiu" of fr. 11 16 and the "Sukchur" and "Sukchu" 
of Y. It is to be identified with the modern Suhchau, or Su-chow. 


163. Page 49, lines 31, 32 

and carry it to all places to fel 

R. and Z ^dd an interesting passage. R. reads as follows : 

"It is a fact that when they take that road, they cannot venture amongst the 
mountains with any beasts of burthen excepting those accustomed to the coimtry, 
on account of a poisonous plant growing there, which, if eaten by them, has the 
effect of causing the hoofs of the animal to drop off; but those of the country, 
being aware of its dangerous quality, take care to avoid it. . .. The district is 
perfectly healthy, and the complexion of the natives is brown." 

CHAPTER 40 (misprinted 44 by F.) 

^* & 5 ' Campion is a greate Citie 

This is the "Canpicion" of fr. 1 116, the modem Kan-chau, chief city of Kansu. 

165. Page 50, line 5 

the Idolators haue also Monajieries 
F. omits the interesting account of the idols. R. gives the best account: 
"and in these [monasteries] a multitude of idols, some of which are of wood, some 
of stone, and some of clay, are covered with gilding. They are carved in a masterly 
style. Among these are some of very large size, and others are small. The former 
are fuU ten paces in length, and Ue in a recumbent posture; the small figures stand 
behind them, and have the appearance of disciples in the act of reverential 
salutation. Both great and small are held in extreme veneration." 

166. Page 50, line 6 

more chajie and comly than the other 

F., or rather Santaella, omits details about intercourse. The latter part is 
unique to R. and Z'- 

"The unlicensed intercourse of the sexes is not in general considered by these 
people as a serious offence; and their maxim is, that if the advances are made by 
the female, the connection does not constitute an offence, but it is held to be 
such when the proposal comes from the man." The French texts, but not R., say 
that if a man take pleasure with a woman against nature he is condemned to death. 

167. Page 50, line 13 feauenyeres 

All texts agree that the period was one year, not seven. Fr. 11 16 and R. state 
that Nicolo was there also. P. makes them "en legation," but fr. 11 16 merely 
says "por lor fait que ne fa a mentovoir." 


168. Page 50, lines 15, 16 

a Citie called Eujina . . .in a fielde of the Defert 

called Sabon 
I.e. Etzina on the edge of the sandy desert. F. reads "Sabon" for "sablon" 
and takes it as a proper name. It should be identified with Kara-Khoto on the 
Etsin-gol, and should be clearly distinguished from Kara-Khoja, the old capital 
of Turfan. See Introduction, p. xliii. 

^* 5 5 J 9 Qffi^^ cattell withall 

No mention is made of the falcons: "faucons lanier et sacri assez et sunt mout 

' ' & > a Citie called Catlogoria 

I.e. "Caracoron" of the texts, the famous Karakorum. F. becomes muddled 
and repeats the name as that of the "firfl: Prince or Lorde among the Tartars," 
whereas all the text means to convey is that Karakorum was the first city possessed 
by the Tartars. R. and Z ^^'^ ^ ^^^ further details: 

" It is surrounded with a strong rampart of earth, there not being any good 
supply of stone in that part of the country. On the outside of the rampart, but 
near to it, stands a castle of great size, in which is a handsome palace occupied 
by the governor of the place." 

B. and Y. name Ciorcia, or Chorchia (the Manchu country) as the place 
where the Tartars first dwelt. R. speaks of "Giorza and Bargu," while F. writes 
simply "the North." 

171. Page 51, lines 6, 7 

and do pay tribute to Prester lohn 
The best texts have "Unc Can," which is given as the native form of the name. 
See Yule's long note. Vol. i. pp. 231-7, also the article on " Prester John " by 
T. Barns in Hastings, Ency. Ret. Eth. Vol. x. pp. 272 et seqq. 

172. Page 51, line 12 

Jhould not be of Jo greate a power 
R. makes a further addition : 

"With this view also, whenever the occasion presented itself, such as a rebellion 
in any of the provinces subject to him, he drafted three or four in the hundred 


of these people, to be employed on the service of quelling it; and thus their power 
was gradually diminished. He in like manner despatched them upon other 
expeditions, and sent among them some of his principal officers to see that his 
intentions were carried into effect." 

173. Page 51, lines 19, 20 

Chenchis. . .-I187. 

So also B, and Y., but R. gives 1162 as the date of the election of Chinghiz 
(Genghis) Khan to the throne. This agrees with the Chinese Annals. R. alone 
mentions his eloquence in the catalogue of his virtues. 

174. Page 51, lines 26, 27 

conquered eighte Kingdomes 
So also B. and Y., but R. has "about nine provinces," and adds: 
"Nor is his success surprising, when we consider that at this period each town 
and district was either governed by the people themselves, or had its petty king 
or lord; and as there existed amongst them no general confederacy, it was im- 
possible for them to resist, separately, so formidable a power." 


175. Page 52, line 4 

in the yeare of oure Lord God .1 190. 

Both B. and Y. read 1200. R. gives no date. F. has altered the subsequent 
pzussages to oratio obliqua. 

176. Page 52, line 15 

a great plaine called Tanguth 

Read "Tanduc" with all the best MSS. The identification of this place is 
uncertain, and the accounts have become muddled. 

The final defeat of Prester John (Aung Khan) was at Chacher Ondur, near 
the modern Urga (Orgo, or Hurae as the Mongols call it), on a tributary of the 
Tola river, about 700 miles north-west of Peking. 

''' 8 5 7 ij^f Ij^ ifig gfid _ 

F. has here omitted the account of the consultation of the astrologers by Chin- 
ghiz Khan as to the issue of the battle. See Marsden, Ch. xliv (Murray, Ch. xlv) ; 
Y. Ch. XLix, and B. Ch. lxvii. It tells how the Saracens were unable to foretell 


the result of the battle, but that the Christians spHt a cane lengthways and let 
one piece represent Chinghiz and the other Prester John. The piece representing 
the conqueror would of itself move on to the top of the other one. As Chinghiz 
watched he saw the cane bearing his own name move on to the other piece, and 
so was greatly deUghted. 

178. Page 52, lines 21, 22 

laying fiege to a Cajtell, was hurte in the Knee . . . 
and. . .dyed 

Fr. 1 1 16 gives the name of the Castle as "Caagiu," the "Caaju" of Y. The 
historical accounts of his wounding and death vary. Chinese Annals, however, 
agree that he was wounded by a stray arrow at the siege of Ta-t'ung fu in 121 2, 
and died at the travelling palace of Ha-la T'u on the Sa-li stream in 1227. See 
Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 57. 

'^' & ' J one called Cane 

F. omits his name — Cuy or Cui. He repeats Chenchis and omits the "Oktai" 
and "Mongu" of fr. 11 16 and the "Alacon" of Y. As Y. has pointed out neither 
Batu nor Hulaku have any right in the Ust, as the former was Khan of Kipchak 
and the latter ELhan of Persia. The real succession ran: Chinghiz — Okkodai — 
Kuyuk — Mangku — Kublai. 

180. Page 52, line 31 

a mountaine called Alchay 

I.e. Altay or Altai, a name apparently applied to the Kenter-Khan, north-east 
of Urga. Khan here means "mountain." See Yule's long note Vol. i. pp. 247-50. 

181. Page 5Q line 7 

° ^^' ' .300000. men 

The figure has increased! Read "more than 20,000" with the best texts. 

182. Page 53, lines 12, 13 

where it is frejhe and plea/aunt aire 
At this point R. adds : 
"and their cattle are free from the annoyance of horse-flies and other biting 
insects. During two or three months they progressively ascend higher ground, 
and seek fresh pasture, the grass not being adequate in any one place to feed the 
multitudes of which their herds and flocks consist." 


183. Page 53, line 14 

and thefe houfes they carry with them . . . 

The French texts also tell us that the frames of the tents are made very strong 
but at the same time light for carrying, R. adds that they are carried on a sort 
of cart with four wheels. Yule gives a picture of one facing p. 254 of Vol. i. 

184. Page 53, lines 22, 23 

They do eate all manner offlejhe 

F. omits to mention "des rat de faraon" which is found in large quantities on 
the plains. Possibly it is a variety of marmot or dormouse, but "Pharaoh's Rat" 
was the name given by foreigners to the Egyptian ichneumon {Herpestes ichneumon), 
the mongoose of India. 

185. Page 53, line 24 

as manye wiues as they will 

"They may take 100 wives if they want to," say the French texts. R. adds 
that the women are most faithful, and although ten or twenty of them are all 
living together peace and quietness reign supreme. 


° ^'*' an Idoll called Nochygay 

Written "Nacygai" in fr. 11 16, and by Y. as "Natigay." The idols are ap- 
parently identical with the Ongons of the Buriats. See the article on them by 
Demetrius Klementz in Hastings, Ency. Rel. Eth. Vol. in. p. 12. 

R. starts his corresponding chapter with the words: "They beUeve in a deity 
whose nature is sublime and heavenly. To him they burn incense in censers, and 
offer up prayers for the enjoyment of intellectual and bodily health. They worship 
another likewise, named Natigay, . . . ." 

According to Banzaroff all the relatives and forefathers of Chinghiz Khan have 
become Ongons, and usually consist of pieces of material sometimes decorated 
with owl-feathers or various fups. 

187. Page 54, line 15 

and is called with them Cheminis 

This is, of course, Kimiz, Kumiz, or Koumiss made of mare's milk to which 
a httle sour cow's milk is added. It is continually churned in a vessel made of 
horse-skin. See further Y. Vol. i. pp. 259 et seq. 


188. Page 54, line 17 Their harnejfe .. . 

F. omits to mention the weapons — bows and arrows, the sword and mace. 

^* ° ^'** ^ Milke made like dry pajle 

R. tells us how it is made: "They boil the milk and skimming oflf the rich or 
creamy part as it rises to the top, put it into a separate vessel as butter, for so 
long as that remains in the milk, it will not become hard. The latter is then exposed 
to the sun until it dries. Upon going on service they carry with them about ten 
pounds for each man, and of this, half a pound is put, every morning, into a 
leathern bottle or small outre^ with as much water as is thought necessary. By 
their motion in riding the contents are violently shaken, and a thin porridge is 
produced, upon which they make their dinner." 

190. Page 55, line 3 

When the Tartares wyll Jkyrmijhe wyth theyr enimies. . . 
The account given by F. is much abbreviated. He makes no mention of the 
method by which the Tartar princes convey orders to their armies, or how justice 
is administered by blows with a stick. The description of the marriage after death, 
however, is a full account. 


191. Page 55, lines 27, 28 

Cuthogora . . . Acay 
As we have already seen, F. previously spelt these names Catlogoria, and 

192. Page 55, lines 30-32 

Barga . . . Mecrith 
I.e. Bargu . . . Mecrit, or Mescrift. The country in question lay near Lake 
Baikal, while the tribe, the Merkit, inhabited the district to the south-east of 
the lake. 

193. Page 56, line 3 

They haue neyther breade nor wine 
R. adds: "They feed likewise upon the birds that frequent their numerous 
lakes and marshes, as well as upon fish. It is at the moulting season, or during 
summer, that the birds seek these waters, and being then, from want of their 
feathers, incapable of flight, they are taken by the natives without difficulty." 



"4^' ° 5 ' called Peregrinos 

After mentioning the Peregrine falcons, F. omits to say that it is so cold that 
you find neither man nor women, but only a bird called Bargherlac, or Barguerlac 
on which the falcons feed. ''They are about the size of a partridge," says R., 
"with tails like the swallow, claws like those of the parrot kind, and are swift of 
flight. When the Grand Khan is desirous of having a brood of peregrine falcons, 
he sends to procure them at this place." 


1 95. Page 56, line 1 9 ^ ^ .^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ 

Having returned to Kan-chau, Polo continues to Erginul or Erguiul which 
has been identified with Liang-chau fu. F. spells it with a "y" a few lines lower. 

196. Page 56, line 24 

a great Citie called Syrygay 

Called "Sinju" in Y., which B. would write "SiUngiu," the modern Si-ning fii. 

197. Page 57, line 5 called Del Efpimzo 

This is, of course, the yak, Bos grunniens. R. adds: "Their hair, or rather wool, 
is white, and more soft and delicate than silk. Marco Polo carried some of it to 
Venice, as a singular curiosity, and such it was esteemed by all who saw it." 

198. Page 57, line 13 and that is the Mujke 

R. tells us that the animal is taken during full moon, "when they cut off the 
membrane, and afterwards dry it, with its contents, in the sun .... Marco Polo 
brought with him to Venice the head and the feet of one of them dried." See 
further. Note 281. 

199. Page 57, line 16 of .2^. days iourmy 

This agrees both with fr. 1 1 16 and R., but Y. has "26." 

200. Page 57, line 1 7 p.yj^^t^^ ^„^ ^,,^ ^,,^te 

As Yule says, this is probably the China pheasant known as Reeve's Pheasant. 
F. says naively "I think thefe be Peacocks." 


201. Page 57, lines 25, 27 

Egregia . . . Chalacia 
Written in fr. 1 1 16 as " Egrigaia" and " Calacian." As stated in the Introduction, 
p. xlvi, I take these to represent Ning-sia fu and Ting-yiian-ying respectively. 


202. Page 58, lines i, 3 

Arguilly . . . Tanguthe 

F. has got muddled and brings in Liang-chau fu again, which he now spells 
"Arguill." See Note 195. 

As before (see Note 176) we should read "Tanduc" for "Tanguthe." The 
province must have included the district lying at the great northern bend of the 
Hwang ho. 

203. Page 58, line 4 

called George by his proper name 

Both R. and ^ tell us he was a Christian and a priest, and that many of the 
inhabitants were also Christians. 

See Pelliot, T'oung Pao, 191 4, pp. 632 et seqq. and Yule and Cordier, Cathay and 
the Way Thither, Vol. lu. p. 15 n. 

204. Page 58, lines 9, 10 lapi^ Uguli 

The French texts merely say: "En ceste provence se trouve les pieres dont 
I'azur se fait." 

^" SO' 4 Argarones, or Galmulos 

I.e. Argons, which the French call Guasmul. The texts differ and the exact 
meaning of the passage is not clear. See Y. Vol. i. pp. 289-92. 

The word Guasmul was used by Franks in the Levant as a name for half- 
breeds sprung from their unions with Greek women. 

206. Page 58, line 21 Gog and Magog 

F. omits to mention that the natives call it Ung and Mungul, the former being 
the name of the inhabitants of the country, and the latter a name applied to the 

AMP 13 



207. Page 58, line 27 doth of gold 

The names have been omitted — in fr. 1 1 16 we read " . . .que Ten apelle nascisi 
fin et nac, et dras de soie de maintes maineres. Ausint com nos avon les dras de 
laine de maintes maineres, ausint il ont dras d'ores et de soie de maintes maineres." 

Y. writes them "Nasich" and "Naques," and says he thinks they correspond 
to the mediaeval "Tartary cloth." 

In Ch. 10 F. speaks of "cloth of Nafich, of Crimfon, and of diuers other coloures 
and fafhions." See Note 75. 

208. Page 59, lines I, 4 gindathoy. . Mka 

Neither of these places has been identified, although Yule would see Siuen- 
hwa fu in the former. 

I have already (Introduction, p. xlvi) given my reasons for not accepting it. 
Fr. 1 1 16 gives the locality of the mines as "Ydifii." 

F. omits to add that the country is well stocked with game. 


9* o 59' a Citie called Gianorum 

L and R. tell us that it means "White Pool." The form found in F. is corrupted 
from Ciagannor or Chagan-Nor. It probably lay to the east of Anguli-Nor. 

210. Page 59, line 18 

when hie goeth into that Countrey 
F.'s account is abbreviated, but there is an interesting unique passage in R.: 
"Nigh to this city is a valley frequented by great numbers of partridges and 
quails, for whose food the Grand Khan causes millet, panicum, and other grains 
suitable to such birds, to be sown along the sides of it every season, and gives 
strict command that no person shall dare to reap the seed ; in order that they may 
not be in want of nourishment. Many keepers, likewise, are stationed there for 
the preservation of the game, that it may not be taken or destroyed, as well as 
for the purpose of throwing the millet to the birds during the winter. So accus- 
tomed are they to be thus fed, that upon the grain being scattered and the man's 
whistling, they immediately assemble from every quarter. The Grand Khan also 
directs that a number of small buildings be prepared for their shelter during the 
night; and in consequence of these attentions, he always finds abundant sport 
when he visits this country; and even in the winter, at which season, on account 
of the severity of the cold, he does not reside there, he has camel-loads of the 
birds sent to him, wherever his court may happen to be at the time." 



211. Page 59, line 21 ^-^^^^^ 

This is Chandu, or K'ai-p'ing fu, Kublai's summer residence. 

212. Page 59, line 24 

in compajfe fiftiene miles 

All the best texts read "sixteen." F. is abbreviated here. 

213. Page6o,Une3 ^^^^^ 

This is unique to F. The leading MSS read "more than 200." The "graye 
Lyon" mentioned two lines lower down should be "leopard." 

214. Page 60, line 10 And this houfe .. . 

F.'s description of the pavilion is abbreviated. R. gives us most details. "In 
the centre of these grounds, where there is a beautiful grove of trees, he has built 
a royal paviHon, supported upon a colonnade of handsome pillars, gilt and 
varnished. Round each pillar a dragon, hkewise gilt, entwines its tail, whilst 
its head sustains the projection of the roof, and its talons or claws are extended to 
the right and left along the entablature." 

He also speaks of the precautions made against high winds, etc. 

215. Page 60, line 24 , /■ ., 

"* =* ' ^ andjome others 

"appeU& Horiat" says fr. 11 16. Y. writes "Horiad" for "Uirad" or "Oirad," 
a tribe from the head waters of the Kem or Upper Yenisei. 


216. Page 60j lines 29, 30 

that milke poured out, is the holye Ghojle 

Apparently F. has taken "espirt" in the sense of Holy Ghost, and has made it 
identical with the milk. The texts, however, make it clear that a hbation of milk 
is being offered to the spirits and idols as a propitiation for a continuance of 
future blessings. 

217. Page 61, line I « j rA a 

° y .29. day ofAuguJt 

A mistake for "28" as found in all the best texts. 



2i8. Pa^e 6i, line 7 , ^ ^,. ,. , , 

° ' by vertue qj his Idols 

F. omits to tell us that the men who perform these wonders come from Tibet 
and Kashmir, and that they persuade people to believe that they obtain their 
power because of the holiness of their lives. 

R. adds that they exhibit themselves in an indecent state, and are filthy, and 
squalid in appearance. Most texts give these men the name of "Bacsi^" probably 
a corruption of the Sanskrit Bhikshu, a title used for wandering Buddhist ascetics. 

219. Page 61, line 13 

they demaunde of the greate Cane . . . 

F.'s account, much abbreviated, has altered the text into oratio obliqua, which in 
all the best texts reads as a speech made by the "Bacsi" to the Khan. 

R. tells us that the Khan occasionally invites people to witness the performance 
of the moving cups. 

220. Pagre 61, line 2^^ ,, , 

° ' ^ .400. Monkes 

The French texts read "more than 2,000," which is no exaggeration. See Y. 
Vol. I. p. 319. F. omits to mention the fact that the name given to the ascetics 
who "do eate the branne and the meale kneaded togither" (probably the Tibetan 
parched barley) is Sensin, a corruption, or rather transcription, of Sien-seng, the 
name given by the Mongols to the Tao-sze. F. tells us they "do lye in Alma- 
draques, fharpe and harde beds." This appears to be unique to Santaella who 
seems to have in mind the spike beds of Hindu ascetics (see Ocean of Story, Vol. i. 
p. 79 n. i). "Almadraque" is an obsolete Spanish word for "bed" or "matress." 

F. omits to mention the fact that the idols of the Tao-sze have female names. 


221. Page 62, line 15 

and wasfiue and forty yeares old when he was made 

So far the dates in this chapter have agreed with the best texts. Here slight 
differences occur. Fr. 1 1 16 says by 1298 he had reigned forty-two years, and that 
now (1298) he was eighty-five years old, while Y. adds that he must have been 
about forty-three years of age when he first came to the throne. 

222. Page 62, line 18 

but alwayes fent hisfonnes, . . . 

So also in R., but not in Y. or B. at this particular place. In these versions the 
statement will be found in Bk. n. Ch. vi. and Ch. lxxxi respectively. 


223. Page 62, line 20 ,, r i- 
"^ ° ' a nephew oj his 

F. omits to give his name, Nayan or Naian. In all texts the relationship is 
mixed. Nayan was the great-great-grandson of Cliinghiz's brother Uchegin. 
Fr. 1 1 16 and R. say he could put 400,000 men in the field. Y. makes this 300,000. 

224. Page 62, line 24 

whyche was called Cardin 

This is, of course, Kaidu, Kublai's cousin and enemy. 

^* ^ ' "^ two and twenty days 

This agrees with fr. 11 16, but some texts have read "xxn" as "x.xii," and 
translated, as Yule did, "ten or twelve." 

F.'s 300,000 fighting men should be 360,000 cavalry and 100,000 footmen, as 
in all the best texts. 

R. adds a passage explaining that the Khan found it necessary to maintain 
garrisons throughout his dominions to preserve order, and that if he decided to 
summon only half the men thus employed, the number would be incredible. 

226. Page 63, line 13 

fetforwarde on his way with his people. . . 

Both R. and F. omit to say that he marched for twenty days. 

The French texts give Nayan's host as consisting of some 400,000 horse. 

227. Page 63, line 23 

thought he might well take his reji that nighte 

F. omits to mention that Nayan was in the arms of his favourite wife. As this is 
found in R. and the Pipino texts, it has probably been purposely left out by the 
Catholic Santaella. 

228. Page 63, line 28 

a great frame vpon an Elephant 

All the best texts read "four elephants." Fr. 11 16 says he was mounted "sor 
une bertresche ordree sor quatre leofans." Yule correctly translates "bertresche" 
or "bretesche" by "bartizan," the Old English derivate applied to any boarded 
structure of defence or attack. 


"9- ^^e^ 63. line 30 ^^^^„ ,„ ^ j„„,„ 

The French texts have 30,000. The fullest account is found in R. : 

"His army, which consisted of thirty battalions of horse, each battalion con- 
taining ten thousand men, armed with bows, he disposed in three grand divisions; 
and to those which formed the left and right wings he extended in such a manner 
as to out-flank the army of Nayan. In front of each battalion of horse were placed 
five hundred infantry, armed with short lances and swords, who, whenever the 
cavalry made a show of fight, were practised to mount behind the riders and 
accompany them, alighting again when they returned to the charge, and killing 
with their lances the horses of the enemy." 

230. Page 63, line 32 

and caufed his trumpets to blowe 

F. abbreviates here, and tells us nothing of the music and singing which preceded 
the battle, or of the beating of the Nakkaras, the great kettledrums of war. His 
description of the battle is reduced to a minimum, but, as Yule suggests, the style 
is very reminiscent of similar battle scenes found both in Eastern and Western 
histories. There are descriptions even in the Thousand and One Nights, as well as 
in the Kathd-sarit-sdgara, which contains practically identical sentences. 

231. Page 64, line 6 

Furciorcidy Guli, Bajlon, Scincinguy 

Written in the French texts as "Ciorcia," or "Charcha"; "Cauli"; "Barscol"; 
and " Sichintingin," or "Sikintinju." The two first have been identified with 
Churchin, the Manchu country, and Kao-li, Korea respectively. The other two 
are still uncertain. See Y. Vol. i. p. 345. 

F, makes no mention of the fact that Nayan was a Christian, and ignores the 
chapter on the rewards given to Jews, Christians, Mahommedans and his nobles. 
This is given in full in Appendix H. No. 5, pp. 270-72. 


232. Page 64, lines 14, 15 

and his eldejifonne^ that he hath by hisjirji wifej 
doth kepe Court by himfelfe 

Here the point is missed. The French texts clearly tell us that the eldest of his 
sons by any of his four wives is the heir to the throne. 

The number of the queens' retainers is given as 10,000, but F. follows the 
Crusca edition in reducing it to 4000. 


233. Page 64, line 21 ^^^^.^^^ 

The "Ungrac" of fr. 1 1 16, and "Ungrat" of Y. — the Mongol tribe of Kungurat. 
F.'s account of the concubines is sadly abbreviated. The fullest description is found 
in R., and is of very great interest to the student of sociology. It is reprinted in 
full in Appendix II. No. 6, pp. 272, 273. 


234. Page 65, lines 4, 5 

noble Citie called Cambalu 

Into this chapter F. has crowded Polo's highly interesting description of Kublai's 
capital, together with the manners and customs of its inhabitants. The fullest 
account is that given by R. to which reference should be made, as it is impossible 
here to reprint every addition that the text affords. I have, however, reprinted his 
description of the New City of Tai-du in Appendix II. No. 7, pp. 273-5, which 
is entirely omitted by F. 

235. Page 65, lines 26, 27 

Without this Citie be twelue fuburbes . . . 

This portion of the text about the suburbs and large number of prostitutes is a 
very brief resum^ of part of B. Ch. xcvi and Y. Bk. n. Ch. xxn. The rest of these 
chapters corresponds to the last six Unes of F. Ch. 58, p. 71. 

236. Page 66, lines 4, 5 

They be called Chifitanos 

Written in fr. 11 16 as "Quesican," and in Y. as "Keshican." It is a Mongol 
term to designate the Khan's lifeguard. See the long note in Y. Vol. i. pp. 379-81. 

237. Page 66, lines 15, 16 

At the /aide Tables commonly dojittefoure 
thoufand perfonSf or very neere 

The sense is wrong here. The French texts clearly explain that the tables are 
arranged in such a way that the Khan can see them all at a glance. R. then adds 
that most of the soldiers and officers sit on carpets, and that on the outside stand 
a great multitude of persons who come from different countries, bringing with them 
many rare and curious articles. The French texts, however, state that the crowd 
is outside the hall, and numbers more than forty (not four) thousand. 


238. Page 66, lines 28, 29 

hathe a cuppe of golde before hym to drinke in 

F. is not clear here. Fr. 11 16 reads " . . .Et se metent deus homes que sieent 
a table un. Et chascun de cesti deus homes hont une coppe d'or a maneque; et 
con celle cope prennent dou vin de eel grant vemique d'or. Et ausint en ont 
entre deus dames unde celz grant [verniques] et deus coupes comant ont les 
homes." The etymology of "vernique" is uncertain (see Y. Vol. i. p. 384), but 
it was probably a large lacquered bowl from which the smaller cups would be 
filled — corresponding in some degree to our punch bowls and sets of cups. 

All the best texts mention the amazing quantity and value of the Khan's plate. 
R. adds an interesting passage in which he explains how strangers are informed 
of the etiquette of the court, and how two enormous officers stand at each door 
in order to see that no one touches the threshold with their feet on entering the 
hall. It is considered a bad omen if this happens, and the offence is punished by 
blows or else by the person's garment being taken to be redeemed by payment. 
The rule does not hold after a banquet, as the guests would not have control over 
their feet! 

239. Page 68, line 19 

to fay thirtie dayes tourney 

Fr. 1 1 16 has "sixty days' journey," and Y. "some forty days' journey." R. tells 
us how the animals are killed: "all persons possessed of land in the province repair 
to the places where these animals are to be found, and proceed to enclose them 
within a circle, when they are killed, partly by dogs, but chiefly by shooting them 
with arrows." 

F. omits the chapter telling of the lions, leopards and wolves used by the Khan 
for the chase. See M. Bk. n. Ch. xiv; Y. Bk. n. Ch. xvra and B. Ch. xcn. 


240. Page 68, lines 27, 28 

Baian, and the other Mytigan, and they be called 

The first name is correctly written, the second is "Mingan" in the French 
MSS. Their title appears as "Ciunci" in fr. 11 16; and "Chinuchi (or Cunichi) in 
Y. Laufer considers the word to be derived from the Tibetan cang-kH, "wolf-dog," 
while Pelliot would read the word Cuiuci, and connect it with the verb giiyii or 
gilyi, "to run." See Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 70. 


241. Page 68, lines 31, 32 

all apparelled in one liuerye of whyte and redde 

This is a mistake. The whole point was that the two companies should be 
distingmshed in the field. The French texts clearly state that one lot was clad in 
vermilion and the other in blue. 

Some few lines lates, R. has the following addition : 

"The two brothers are under an engagement to fiarnish the court daily, from 
the commencement of October to the end of March, with a thousand pieces of 
game, quails being excepted ; and also with fish, of which as large a quantity as 
possible is to be supplied, estimating the fish that three men can eat at a meal as 
equivalent to one piece of game." 


242. Page 69, line 13 fiue thoufand 
Read " 500 " with all the best texts. 

^^* ° "' they bee called Tujiores 

Read "Toscaor" or "Toscaol," the Turki meaning "guardian" or "watcher." 

244. Page 69, line 25 

one of thofe bands his brethren 

F. omits to tell us that his tide was "Bularguci," keeper of lost property, and 
that all articles found must be delivered up to him. He took his stand in a pro- 
minent part of the camp, and displayed his banner to attract attention, and 
proclaim his whereabouts. 


245. Page 70, line 1 1 

which they do call Caziamon 

The "Cacciar Modun" of fr. 11 16, and "Cachar Modun" of Y. 

Yule considered it must be in the region north of the eastern extremity of the 
Great Wall. Pelliot says it must be the " Ha-ch'a-mu-touen " of the Tiian Shih, 
Ch. 100, fo. 22. 

246. Page 70, line 15 ,^000. knights 
Read " 1000" with all the best texts. 


247. Page 71, between Chs. 58 and 59 

At this point Yule has given the very interesting account of the oppressions of 
Achmath (Achmac, or Ahmad) the Bailo, and the plot that was formed against 
him. It is only found in the Ramusio text and is accordingly reproduced in full 
in Appendix 11. No. 8, pp. 275-8. The revolt against the oppression of Kublai's 
tyrannical minister is fully substantiated in the Chinese records, as well as in the 
contemporary Persian version by Rashid-ud-din (the JdmVuU-Tawdrikh), whose 
account tells us of two separate attempts to murder Ahmad, and, curiously enough, 
connects them with the siege of Saianfu (Siang-yang), for which see Note 353, 
p. 228, and Appendix II. No. 23, pp. 301, 302. 

After carefully weighing over all the evidence, the Rev. A. C. Moule has come to 
the conclusion {Jount. North China Br. Roy. As. Soc. Vol. Lvra. 1927, pp. 1-35) that 
if the story does not come direct from Polo, it cannot in any case be much later 
in date than his lifetime. He considers, however, that Murray's arguments 
against Polo's authorship perhaps deserve more attention than they have hitherto 
received. Murray's argument {Travels of Marco Polo, pp. 32 and 124) is that the 
Achmath chapter contains a statement that the Cathayans detested the Khan's 
rule, while in a passage of undoubted Polian authorship they are said to "worship 
him as he were God." Such contradictory statements, he suggests, would never 
have been countenanced by Polo. But I doubt whether they really are contra- 
dictory statements. The Mongol conqueror, Kublai, would doubdess inspire 
fear, and possibly hate, in a vanquished foe, as well as "worship," when he 
extended munificence to the poor. Unfortunately the newly discovered ^ text 
is silent, so R. still remains the sole authority for the story. 

Q 13 ^ r CHAPTER 59 

248. Page 71, line 20 ^^ 

The greate Cane caufeth his money to be made in 
this manner . . . 
F.'s account of the paper-currency is unfortunately abbreviated. See M. Bk. n. 
Ch. xvni; Y. Bk. n. Ch, xxiv; and B. Ch. xcvii. To Yule's notes, we must add those 
given by Cordier, op. cit. pp. 70-72. 


249. Page 72, lines 10, 11 

tenne Barons . . .to gouerne .64. prouinces and 
countries. . . 
Here F. has got his figures wrong. It should be twelve Barons and thirty-four 

R. gives us some extra details concerning the duties of these men with respect 
to the army, the conferring of benefits, etc. 



250. Page 73, line I are called Senich 

The "scieng" of fr. 11 16, and "shieng" of Y. Two similar words, "Sing" and 
"Sheng," were apparently applied both to the High Council of State as well as 
to the provincial governments. We meet with "Sing" as the denomination of 
Yang-chou. See Note 350. 


251. Page 73, line 8 TheCitieofCamkalu.,. 

This short disjointed passage about the gates of the city, and the subsequent 
one on the "blacke ftones," is all that remains in F. of seven chapters. As R.'s 
account is the fullest, it is reprinted in Appendix II. No. 9, pp. 278-86. 


252. Page 73, line 18 fourUene moneths 
Read "four" with all the best texts. 

253. Page 74, Unes 2, 3 

tenne dayes iorney, Ifounde a very great riuer 
which is called Poluifanguis 

Read "miles" instead of "dayes." The river referred to is the Hun-ho, called 
"Pulis-anghin(z)" in the French texts. 

254. Page 74, line 13 two hundred pillers 

This seems to be unique to F. R. gives us a few further details about the bridge, 
but says nothing about the number of the pillars. 


255. Page 74, Hnes 15-17 

tenne miles . . . Goygu 

Read "thirty miles." Fr. 1 1 16 gives the name as "Giongiu," and Y. as "Juju." 
It corresponds to the modern Cho-chau. 


256. Page 75, line I Countrey of the Magos 

Read "countrey of Manzi," i.e. China south of the Yellow and Huai rivers. 



257. Page 75, line 5 

a Citie named Tarafu 

This is T'ai-yuan lii, called "Taianfu" in the French texts. For a note on the 
vines referred to by Polo, see Cordier, op. cit. pp. 75 et seq. 

R. tells us of Acbaluc (Ch'eng-ting fu) which, he says, is reached in five days 
from Cho-chau, and to which the limits of the Khan's hunting-grounds extend, 
"and within which no persons dare to sport, excepting the princes of his own 
family, and those whose names are inscribed on the grand falconer's list; but 
beyond these limits, all persons quaUfied b^^ their rank are at liberty to pursue 
game. . .." 


258. Page 75, lines 10-13 

eighte dayes. . .Paymphu 

Read "seven days." The name of the city should read "Pianfu," the modern 
P'ing-yang fu. 

259. Page 75, lines 14, 15 

a fayre Towne named Caychin 

This should read "Castle of Caiciu," or Caichu, the exact situation of which 
is so puzzling. See Introduction, p. xlviii. 

F. omits any sort of description of the king of "Caychin" to whom he gives 
the name of Bur (for Dor) . The fullest account is given by R. After mentioning 
the collection of paintings of the princes who have ruled at the castle, he 
continues : 

"A remarkable circumstance in the history of this King Dor shall now be 
related. He was a powerful prince, assumed much state, and was always waited 
upon by young women of extraordinar)^ beauty, a vast number of whom he 
entertained at his court. When, for recreation, he went about the fortress, he 
was drawn in his carriage by these damsels, which they could do with facility, as 
it was of a small size. They were devoted to his service, and performed every 
office that administered to his convenience or amusement. In his government 
he was not wanting in vigour, and he ruled with dignity and justice. The works 
of his castle, according to the report of the people of the country, were beyond 
example strong. He was, however, a vassal of Un-khan, who, as we have already 
stated, was known by the appellation of Prester John; but, influenced by pride, 
he rebelled against him." 



260. Page 75, line 16 This Bur 

As mentioned in the last note, this is a corruption of Dor, i.e. Roi D'Or, a 
literal translation of the Mongul Altun Khan, the Emperor of the Kin or Golden 
Dynasty. There appears to be no historical foundation to the legend briefly 
related in this chapter. The number of the "yong Gentlemen" agrees with that 
given in fr. 1 1 1 6, but Y. makes it seventeen. 

None of the conversation between King Dor and Prester John, as found in the 
French MSS, is retained in F. 


261. Page 76, line 12 

a great Citie named Cajiomphur 

I.e. Cachanfu, the modem P'u-chau fu. F. has muddled his distances. He 
omits to mention the Caramoran (Hwang ho) which Polo crosses twenty miles 
after leaving the castle, and then after two days he reaches P'u-chau fu. See the 
Introduction, p. xlviii and map opposite. 


262. Page 76, line 15 eight dayes 

So also in all the best MSS, but R. has "seven." 

263. Page 76, lines 17, 18 

with goodlie andfaire Gardens 

F. omits to mention the abundance of mulberry trees. R. and Z ^^d: "The 
inhabitants in general worship idols, but there are also found here Nestorian 
Christians, Turkomans, and Saracens." 

264. Page 76, lines 20, 21 

a f aire Citie whiche is called Bengomphu 
I.e. Si-ngan fu, famous in Chinese history. 

265. Page 76, lines 22, 23 

one of the great Canes fonnes, who is called Magala 
I.e. MiUigalai, third son of Kublai Khan. 


266. Page 76, line 25 

the which with the Wal of the Citie is tenne myle 

Fr. 1 1 16 simply says the palace wall was five miles in compass. R. tells us that 
the palace stood in a plain five miles firom the city and that the wall of the park 
was five miles in circumference, enclosing all kinds of wild animals, both beasts 
and birds, which were kept for sport. He adds that the halls and chambers of 
the palace were ornamented with paintings in gold and the finest azure, as well 
as with great profusion of marble. 


'■ ^ ''' the prouince of Chinchy 

I.e. the southern portion of Shen-si in the neighbourhood of Han-chung fu. 

268. Page 77, lines 11, 12 

Lions i and plentie of other wilde beajies 

I.e., of course, tigers, etc. Most texts give more details of the "other wilde 
beaftes," viz. bears, lynxes, fallow deer, antelopes and stags. 


269. Page 77, lines 14, 15 

a Citie named Oyneleth 

In the chapter heading F. spells it Cineleth. It is a corruption of Acbalec. 
The district referred to is doubtless the river valley of the Han kiang. R. speaks 
of " Ach-baluch Manji, which signifies the White City on the confines of Manji. . . ." 

270. Page 77, line 24 

Lions and beares, befides other wilde beajies 

Yule's texts do not mention these animals, but fr. 11 16 reads "Uonz et ors et 
leus cerver, dain, cavriolz et cerf," i.e. "Uoiis [tigers], and bears and lynxes, 
fallow deer, roebuck and stags." 


' ' 5 7 J ffig countrey named Cindarifa 

For Cindarifu, i.e. Sindafu, the modern Ch'eng-tu fu. F. spells it "Sindarifa" 
a few lines lower down. 


272. Page 78, line 4 ^^.^^ .^ -^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ 

F. omits details about the division of the city. All the best MSS relate how when 
the old king was dying he divided his city into three parts, one of which he gave 
to each of his three sons. Each son walled off his part of the city and became a 
powerful king, but the Great Khan conquered them all. 

For a possible explanation of this see Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 79. 

273. Page 78, line 18 

ienne thoufande Bifancios of God 

I.e. "bezants of gold." R. reads "100," and fr. 11 16 "1000." 
The description of the watering of the city and of the bridge is given much 
fuller in R. and Zi where certain unique passages also occur. In the following 
extract those portions found only in R. are given in itaUcs : 

"The city is watered by many considerable streams, which descending from 
the distant mountains, surround and pass through it in a variety of directions. 
Some of these rivers are half a mile in width, others are two hundred paces, and 
very deep; over which are built several large and handsome stone bridges, eight 
paces in breadth, their length being greater or less according to the size of the 
stream. From one extremity to the other there is a row of marble pillars on each 
side, which support the roof; for here the bridges have very handsome roofs, 
constructed of wood, ornamented with paintings of a red colour, and covered 
with tiles. Throughout the whole length also there are neat apartments and 
shops, where all sorts of trade are carried on. One of the buildings, larger than 
the rest, is occupied by the officers who collect the duties upon provisions and 
merchandise, and a toll from persons who pass the bridge. In this way, it is said, 
his majesty receives daily the sum of an hundred besants of gold. These rivers 
uniting their streams below the city, contribute to form the mighty river called Kian, whose 
course, before it discharges itself into the ocean, is equal to an hundred days' journey; but 
of its properties occasion will be taken to speak in a subsequent part of this Book'' 
[i.e. F. Ch. 94; M. Bk. n. Ch. Lxra; P. Bk. n. Ch. cjxlvi; Y. Bk. n. Ch. lxxi; B. 
Ch. cxLvra. See Note 355]. 


274. Page 78, lines 21, 22 

it indurethfiue dayes iourney 
At this point most texts add a few lines stating that the inhabitants live by 
agriculture, that many savage beasts, such as lions and bears, are found, and that 
the people of "Sindu" live by manufactures, particularly of fine cloths, silks and 


275. Page 78, lines 23, 24 

Cheleth, which was dejlroyed by the great Cane 
I.e. Tibet, yet in the next chapter it is called "Thebet." Evidence of the 
"destruction" of Tibet appears to be wanting. It seems to have been a case of 
peaceful occupation and surrender without fighting. See Y. Vol. u. p. 46, but 
cf De Guignes, Histoire Generate des Huns, Book xv. p. 123. R. (also L) adds "To 
the distance of twenty days journey you see numberless towns and casdes in a 
state of ruin ; and in consequence of the want of inhabitants, wild beasts, and 
especially tigers, have multiphed to such a degree, that merchants and other 
travellers are exposed there to great danger during the night." The whole passage 
is not unique to R. and L, as the French MSS refer to the "multiplication of wild 
beasts" somewhat later. 

276. Page 78, lines, 24, 25 

Canes which are called Berganegas 
Polo is referring here to the bamboo, but F. is alone in using the word "Ber- 
ganegas." Prof Dr Sten Konow considers it to be Iranian, apparently for 
"Barganaga," where bargdna would mean "leafy" from the Persian "barg,"^a 
being the otiose suffix. But this seems to have no connection with bamboo. Like- 
wise the Hindustani, bargd, "rafter," can surely have nothing to do with it. A 
more probable derivation is through the Spanish "cana de Bengala," a cane. 
The feminine ending -ega would make "Bengalega," whence the corruption to 
"Berganega" is not forced. See Diez, Etymologisches Worterbuch der romanischen 

277. Page 79, line i 

the found is harde many miles off 

Fr. 1 1 16 and Y.'s texts give a definite distance, ten miles. 

R. reads, however, "duoi miglia," which seems more reasonable, especially as 
Yule (Vol. II. p. 46) considers Polo's account somewhat exaggerated. 

F.'s description of the burning bamboos is abbreviated. The French texts explain 
how that the horses became so alarmed by the noise that the men tie all four 
legs and peg them down firmly with ropes, as well as wrapping up the heads and 
eyes of the animals. R. alone adds that the merchants provide themselves with 
iron shackles. 

278. Page 79, line 10 

do Carrie prouijionfor thofe twenty daies iourney 

Both R. and ^ add: "unless perhaps once in three or four days, when you take 
the opportunity of replenishing your stock of necessaries." 



279. Page 79, lines 12, 13 

a Prouince or Countrey^ that is full of Cities and 
R. and Z say that at the end of the twenty days "you begin to discover a few 
castles and strong towns, built upon rocky heights or upon the summits of moun- 
tains, and gradually enter an inhabited and cultivated district where there is no 
longer any danger from beasts of prey." 

280. Page 79, lines 13, 14 

And the cujlome in this Countrey is. . . 

So also fr. 11 16 merely says, "Et hi a un tiel costumes. . .," but R. (following 
Pipino here I imagine) is evidently shocked, for he says: "A scandalous custom, 
which could only proceed from the blindness of idolatry,. ..." Again, somewhat 
later, he (as also F.) omits the frivolous remark found in the French texts about 
it being a fine place for young bachelors to visit. Details of the custom in question 
vary in the different MSS. For some unexplained reason Yule never mentions 
the interesting variant readings in R., while Benedetto omits to record R. as saying, 
"che questo place alU loro Idoli." He gives, however, an interesting passage 
from <^ which appears to be the origin of R. It reads (B. p. 1 1 1, note e) : 

"NammuUersive donucella que non fuerit ab ahquo viro cognita dicitur apud 
eos diis fore ingrata quare propter hoc homines aborrent eas et de ipsis non curant, 
quare si eorum ydolis essent grate eas homines concupiscerent et affectarent." 

The next point of interest (unrecorded by Y. or B.) is that R. speaks of "a 
caravan of merchants" who are visited "after they have set up their tents for the 
night." This mention of a "Carouana di mercanti" should have found a place in 
Hobson-Jobson in view of its etymological interest. Fr. 1 1 16 speaks of "lor tendes" 
to which the old women take their daughters to numbers varying between twenty 
and forty. P. and Y. read (somewhat lower down) "twenty or thirty." R. gives 
no figures at all. In our text, we see that F. has changed matters round, as he 
says "and fometimes there lyeth with hir ten, and with fome other twenty." 

It has long since been pointed out that customs similar to that described by 
Polo exist in many parts of the world. The most recent, and largest number of 
references I have seen is given by Briffault, The Mothers, Vol. m. pp. 313 etseq. 
He points out that several reasons for the dislike of marrying virgins are found 
among different tribes. In primitive society marriage is an economic measure 
rather than an avenue to sexual fife. The necessity of fertility in the woman is, 
therefore, a sine qua non in the bride. Prostitution with strangers is among many 
peoples considered a means of getting into touch with the powers whence her 
fertility is truly derived (see further, op. cit. p. 317). 

AMP 14 


To return to our text, F. reads, "And fhe that hathe vfed hir felfe with mofte 
ftrangers, it fhall be knowen by the moft quantitie of jewels that fhe weareth 
aboute her necke, and Ihe moft fooneft Ihall finde a mariage, and fhall be moft 
prayfed and loued of hir hufband." R. is fuller than other texts: 

"When, afterwards, they are designed for marriage, they wear all these orna- 
ments about the neck or other part of the body, and she who exhibits the greatest 
number of them is considered to have been the most attractive in her person, and 
is on that account in the higher estimation with the young men who are looking 
out for wives; nor can she bring to her husband a more acceptable portion than 
a quantity of such gifts. At the solemnisation of her nuptials she accordingly 
makes a display of them to the assembly; and he regards them as a proof that their 
idols have rendered her lovely in the eyes of men. ..." 

Part of the above probably came from ^ (see B. p. 1 1 1 note g). P. and Y. tell 
us that a girl must have at least twenty tokens before she can get married. 

In concluding this note, I might refer to the fact, well known to most readers, 
that the lady with the lovers' tokens appears in the frame story of the Thousand 
and One Nights, whence she came from India, in Somadeva's great collection, the 
Kathd-sarit-sdgara. See my Ocean of Story, Vol. v. p. 122. For further examples 
to those I give in the note on that page, see Wesselski, Mdrchen des Mittelalters, 
Beriin, 1925, pp. 185-7. 

281. Page 79, line 29 

andjpecially of Mufkettes 

R. (and Z) give us the fullest account of the methods of obtaining musk from 
the musk deer: 

"Here are found the animals that produce the musk, and such is the quantity, 
that the scent of it is diffused over the whole country. Once in every month the 
secretion takes place, and it forms itself as has already been said, into a sort of 
imposthune or boil full of blood, near the navel ; and the blood thus issuing, in 
consequence of excessive repletion, becomes the musk. Throughout every part of 
this region the animal abounds, and the odour generally prevails. They are called 
gudderi in the language of the natives, and are taken with dogs." 

Cf. the interesting account given by Chardin (see p. 151 of the Argonaut Press 
edition, 1927). One of the earhest accounts is that by Cosmos, the Egyptian monk 
(c. A.D. 545), who says it is "called in the native tongue Kastouri. Those who hunt 
it pierce it with arrows, and having tied up the blood collected at the navel they 
cut it away. For this is the part which has the pleasant fragrance known to us by 
the name of musk. The men then cast away the rest of the carcase." 

The gland producing the musk is only found in the male, and in a sac about 
three inches in diameter situated beneath the skin of the abdomen, the orifice 


being immediately in front of the preputial aperture. See the articles "musk" 
and "musk-deer" in the Ejuj/. Brit, nth edition, Vol. xex. p. 90. 

The word musk appears to be derived from the Sanskrit mushka, meaning 

282. Page 79, lines 30, 31 

Canuas, and Cowhydes, and the Jkinnes ofwilde beajles 
The French texts also mention "bocoran," buckram, for a note on which see 

Y. Vol. I. pp. 47, 48. 

F. omits to mention that no coined money is used by the Tibetans, nor even 

the Khan's paper money, but that salt (or, according to R., coral) is in circulation 



283. Page 80, line i 

Maugi is a great prouince and Countrey 

I.e. Manzi or Mangi, Southern China. F. has got muddled. He is still speaking 
of Tibet in this chapter, but was misled by the mention of "Maugy" at the very 
end of Ch. 75. He describes it later in its proper place (Ch. 88), where he correctly 
calls it Mangi. 

284. Page 80. line 3 gold of Payulfa 

I.e. gold dust, the "or de paliolle" of fr. 11 16, and "oro di paiola" of R. It 
corresponds to the modem French "paillettes d'or." 

The French texts also mention that "canele," cinnamon, grows in great abun- 

285. Page 80, line 7 

and of Chamlet great plenty 

The camlet here mentioned is the "giambelot" of fr. 11 16, and the "Zam- 
bellotti" of R. It was a stuff of camel's hair and originally, as in our text, only 
referred to such a product. In time, however, the term was applied to stuffs 
containing both wool and silk. 

286. Page 80, lines 8, 9 

Inckanters, and euill difpofed men 
R. (and Z) give us more detail : 

"These people are necromancers, and by their infernal art, perform the most 
extraordinary and delusive enchantments that were ever seen or heard of. They 
cause tempests to arise, accompanied with flashes of lightning and thunderbolts, 
and produce many other miraculous effects." 



' ■ § ' y Majlies as bigge as AJJes 

R. tells us that these Tibetan mastiffs are "strong enough to hunt all sorts of 
wild beasts, particularly the wild oxen, which are called beyamini, and are ex- 
tremely large and fierce." 

For a possible explanation of beyamini see Y. Vol. n. p. 52 and Cordier, Ser 
Marco Polo, p. 83. 

All the best texts now mention the breeding of lanner falcons and the good 
sport they have with them. R. also refers to "sakers, very swift of flight." 

The French texts follow on with a paragraph explaining that all these provinces 
now being described are subject to the Great Khan, and that this fact must be 
understood even if it is not mentioned. 


288. Page 80, line 11 r^ , 

F. calls it "Candon" in the chapter heading. It is "Gaindu" in fr. 11 16; and 
"Caindu" in R. (written by M. as Kain-du). The exact etymology is uncertain 
(see Y. Vol. 11, p. 70), but its identification has been determined. The name was 
applied both to a district and to its chief town. This is definitely stated both in 
R. and L. The district is the Kien-ch'ang valley watered by the Ngan-ning (or 
An-ning) which meets the Yalung Kiang just before the latter joins the Kin-sha 
kiang about 120 miles N.N.W. of Yunnan fu. The town of Caindu is the modem 
Ning-yuen fu on the Ngan-ning, roughly half-way between Ya-chow, and Yunnan 
fu (I see it is called Ling-yuen in map 62 of The Times Atlas). 

289. Page 80, line 1 1 

that lyeth towards the Occident 
R. is much more explicit: "Kain-du is a western province which was formerly 
subject to its own princes, but since it has been brought under the dominion of 
the Grand Khan, it is ruled by the governors whom he appoints. We are not to 
understand, however, that it is situated in the western part (of Asia), but only 
that it lies westward with respect to our course from the north-eastern quarter. 
Its inhabitants are idolaters. It contains many cities and castles, and the capital 
city, standing at the commencement of the province, is likewise called Kain-du. 
Near to it there is a large lake of salt water, in which are found abundance of 
pearls, of a white colour, but not round." 

290. Page 80, lines 19, 20 

the cujlome of the people in this Countrey is. . . 
Cf with Note 280. -^ adds a few interesting details, see B. p. 114 note e. 


291. Page 81, lines 5, 6 

The people of this Coutrey do vfe money made of gold. . . 

The last lines of this chapter are sadly abbreviated. The fullest version is to be 
found in R. but as the passage is lengthy it will be given in toto in Appendix II. 
No. 10, pp. 286, 287. 


292. Page 81, lines 12-14 

And at the tenne dayes iourneys end, you come vnto 
a greate Riuer, whiche is named Brus, at the which 
endeth the Countrey and prouince named Candew 

R. reads "fifteen days." Here the valley of Kien-ch'ang is referred to. The 
"Brus," corrupted from "Brius" of fr. 11 16 and all the best texts, is the Kin-sha 
kiang already mentioned in Note 288. It is the Tibetan portion of the Yang-tze 
kiang which "falleth into the Occean Sea" in lat. 32" N. 


293. Page 81, line 17 

a Prouince named Caraia 

I.e. the "Caragian" of fr. 1116; "Carajan" of Y.; "Caraian" of P. and "Ka- 
raian" of R. This is the province of Yunnan. 

294. Page 81, lines 19, 20 

one of the greate Canes fonnes, named Esentemur 
Isentimur was the grandson, not son, of Kublai. See further, Note 303. 

^^' ° ' '^ great plentie of Horfes 

Here all the texts add that the province had a language peculiar to itself and 
very difficult to understand. Santaella probably omitted it on purpose, for, as 
we have seen, he always translated "lingua per si" as "lengua persiana." Ap- 
parentiy he hesitated in describing the Chinese as talking Persian, but when dealing 
with the islands of the archipelago his qualms disappeared ! 

296. Page 82, lines i, 2 

a Citie which is named loci 

I.e. Yunnan fu, called "laci" in fr. 11 16, "Yachi" by Y., and "Jacin" by P. 
In the chapter heading F. wrongly calls it a "Prouince." 


297. Page 82, line 2 

and full of people Idolaters. . . 

R. adds that the Idolaters are the most numerous; while all the best texts have 
a passage about their wheaten bread being unwholesome, that rice takes its place, 
and that they make a spiced drink which has the effect of alcohol. 

298. Page 82, lines 4-6 

fne flielles white , . . and fourefcore of them are 
worth a Sazo of gold. . . 

A mistake for "a Sazo of siluer," as is obvious when F. inunediately afterwards 
tells us the next unit of value is 8 Sazos of silver = i ounce = i Sazo of gold. 
It is hard to say what a "Sazo" is. R. calls it "Saggio," and fr. 11 16 writes 
"Saje," and says that "un saje d'arjent" corresponds to "deus venesians gros." 
Yule's text adds that two Venetian groats = 24 "piccoli" ("livres" in P.). 

For a very important note on the cowrie shell {Cyprcea moneta) see Stein, Kalhands 
Rajatarahginl, Vol. 11. pp. 323, 324. The ornamental and sexual side of the use of 
the cowrie is dealt with by Briffault, The Mothers y Vol. in. pp. 275-8. See my 
Ocean of Story, Vol. rx. p. 17 n. 2. 

299. Page 82, line 8 

There they do make Sault of the water of Welles 
great piety 

All the best texts mention the fact that the king derived a large revenue from 
the duty on salt. 

300. Page 82, lines 12, 13 

They cut it in fmall pieces^ and fauce it with 
Garlike and f pices . . . 

It is interesting here to compare the passage in several of the texts, for it would 
appear that R. shows a closer relationship to fr. 11 16, while F., Y. and P. show 
signs of inferior readings. 

From fr. 11 16 it is obvious that Polo is trying to explain that the rich and poor 
each dress their meat a distinctly different way. R. also clearly appreciates this. 
The other texts, however, have mixed up the two accounts as one. Let us look 
at fr. 1 1 16 first: 

"Encore vos di que il menuent la char crue de galine et de mouton [B. reads 
monton] et de buef et de bufal : car les povres homes sc [corrected by B. to s'en] 
vont a la becarie, et prenent le feie crue tant tost con [B. reads com] se trai hors de 


la bestes, et le trence menu, puis le met en la sause de I'aille et le menuie man- 
tenant. Et ausi font de toutes les autres chars. Et les gentilz homes menuient 
encore la cars crue, mes il la font menussier menuemant, puis la metent en la 
sause de I'aille meslee con bone espece, puis la menuient ausi bien con nos faison 
la coite." 

The words from "Et les gentilz" to "con bone espece" are omitted in P. and Y. 
Hence the comparison intended in the passage is lost. In R., however, we find 
no reference to the "becarie," shambles, but the differentiation clearly made: 

"The people are accustomed to eat the undressed flesh of fowls, sheep, oxen, 
and buffaloes; but cured in the following manner. They cut the meat into very 
small particles, and then put it into a pickle of salt, with the addition of several 
of their spices. It is thus prepared for persons of the higher class, but the poorer 
sort only steep it, after mincing, in a sauce of garlic, and then eat it as if it were 

I consider that a comparison of the above passages clearly shows, if further 
proof be needed, the high importance of R. For although the MSS used by P. 
and Y. resemble fr. 11 16 closely at first, they not only add nothing further, but 
have grave lacunae. 

But if R. omits a passage found in fr. 11 16 it often adds a sentence that gives 
further information and shows a grasp of the original which we do not find in the 
other texts. This is by no means a solitary example. Many could be cited. 


301. Page 82, lines 14, 15 

tenne dayes iourney 

Fr. 1 1 16 and all the best texts have "por ponent," or the equivalent, "in a 
westerly direction." 

302. Page 82, line 15 p^^^.^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^.^^ 

F. omits to mention that the city also bore the same name as the province. 
Chariar, the second city of Yunnan, is undoubtedly Ta-li fu. Full evidence will 
be found in Yule's notes on this and the previous chapters. Fr. 11 16 calls it 
"Caragian"; M. writes "Karazan" and Y. "Garajan." 

^ ^' ° ' ' ' named Chocayo 

I.e. a corruption of Cogacin or Cogachin. Obviously Polo has got muddled 
here as he told us in the last chapter that "Esentemur" was ruler of "Caraia," 
i.e. Yunnan. 

Hukaji (Chocayo) was succeeded by Isentimur. 


3 4^- 5 > 9 gj^g^t, plenty of gold 

F. omits to mention gold dust, the "gold of Payulsa" as he calls it in Ch. 76. 
See Note 284. 

2 ^' ° ' there be certayne Serpents 

F.'s account of the crocodiles is sadly abbreviated. 

The fullest version is found in R. which also contains additional passages 
towards the end of the chapter. The rest of R. Ch. xl will, therefore, be found in 
full in Appendix II. No. 1 1, pp. 287-9. Some of the passages hitherto considered 
unique to R. are also found in Z- See B. pp. n6, 117. 

306. Page 83, lines 6, 7 But .^r^. yeares hitherto 
Read "35 yeares hitherto." 


307. Page 83, lines 11, 12 

another Prouince named Nodeam, and alfo the 
Citie named Nociam 

Both names are quite unrecognizable in such corrupted forms. "Nocteam" is 
the "^ardandan" of fr. 11 16; the "Cardandan" of R. which M., owing to the 
absence of the cedilla, gives as "Kardandan" instead of the more correct "Zar- 
dandan" of P. and Y. On p. 85, line i, read "Nocteam" for "Charian." 

The name means "Gold-teeth" being the Persian zdr-danddn, equivalent to 
the Chinese chin-ch'ih. The exact locality of this Province cannot be stated for 
certain, but roughly speaking it embraced a district in Western Yunnan having 
the Salween (Nu-wu or Lu Kiang) from about 24° to 27° N. lat. as a longitudinal 
centre. The Kachins inhabited the western part, while the Northern Shans were 
due south. See Cathay and the Way Thither, Vol. ra. p. 131 n. i. In "Nociam" we 
see the corrupted "Vocian" of fr. 11 16, the "Vochan" of Y. and "Vochang" of 
R. All forms are attempts at the Chinese Yung-ch'ang, which town lies nearly 
half-way between the Mekong and the Salween. 

308. Page 83, lines 14, 15 

teeth couered with golde 

R. alone adds a passage about tattooing; 

"The men also form dark stripes or bands round their arms and legs, by punc- 
turing them in the following manner. They have five needles joined together. 


which they press into the flesh until blood is drawn, and then they rub the punc- 
tures with a black colouring matter, which leaves an indeUble mark. To bear these 
dark stripes is considered as an ornamental and honourable distinction." 

Cf. the short account of Conti, p. 131 of this volume, and see Temple's article 
"Burma" in Hastings' Ency. Rel. Eth. Vol. in. p. 31, while for a comprehensive 
article on the subject see "Tatuing" by Grant Showerman, Hastings' Ency. Rel. 
Eth. Vol. xn. pp. 208-15. 

309. Page 83, lines 19, 20 

the women of this Countrey haue this cujlome. . . 

F.'s account is sUghtly longer than that found in most texts. It closely resembles 
that in R. 

To the notes on the custom known as couvade given by Yule, add those by Cordier, 
Ser Marco Polo, pp. 85-7, and W. Crooke, Religion and Folklore of Northern India, 
1926, p. 214. In his article on "Burma" mentioned in the last note, Sir 
Richard Temple, in speaking of the Karens, says : 

"Among Red and White Karens there are curious traces of the couvade. Among 
the Red Karens only the father may act as midwife, and he may not speak to any 
one after the birth of his child. Among the White Karens (Mepu) no one may 
leave the village after a birth until the umbilical cord is cut, this event being 
announced by bursting a bamboo by heating [see Note 277]. This custom is 
said to be extended to the birth of domestic animals. No stranger may enter the 
house of a woman during her confinement. No customs seem to exist connected 
with the umbilical cord, except that the Red Karens hang up all the cords of the 
village in sealed bamboo receptacles {Kyedauk) on a selected tree." 

A curious example of the couvade entering into local legendary history is afforded 
by the story of the invasion of Ulster by the Fir Bolg and how the male inhabitants 
were unable to defend the kingdom of Conchobar, being en couvade. The situation 
was saved by the help of Ciic'hulainn, the sun-hero. It has been suggested that 
the custom is here used to explain the annual birth of the sun-god just within 
the Arctic circle. See further T. Barns, Hastings' Ency. Rel. Eth. Vol. rv. 
P- 749- 

310. Page 84, lines 1,2 

for that they dwell among the moyji mountaynes, 
corrupted with euill ayres 

After describing the couvade, F. abbreviates considerably. In the first place the 
chief texts tell us that the inhabitants eat rice with their meat, and manufacture 


a wine from rice to which a mixture of spices is added. Their ignorance of 
writing, etc., is thus described in R. : 

"They have no knowledge of any kind of writing, nor is this to be wondered at, 
considering the rude nature of the country, which is a mountainous tract, covered 
with the thickest forests. During the summer season the atmosphere is so gloomy 
and unwholesome, that merchants and other strangers are obliged to leave the 
district in order to escape from death. When the natives have transactions of 
business with each other, which require them to execute any obligation for the 
amount of a debt or credit, their chief takes a square piece of wood and divides 
it in two. Notches are then cut on it, denoting the sum in question, and each 
party receives one of the corresponding pieces ; as is practised in respect to our 
talUes. Upon the expiration of the term, and payment made by the debtor, the 
creditor delivers up his counterpart, and both remain satisfied." 

311. Page 84, line 33 r^^u ^ - * u 1 

Ij the paciente heale . . . 

From this point to the end of the chapter we have a passage not found in fir. 1 1 16, 
P. or Y. 
An even fuller account, however, appears in R. : 

"and if through God's providence the patient recovers, they attribute his 
cure to the idol for whom the sacrifice was performed; but if he happens to die, 
they then declare that the rites had been rendered ineffective, by those who 
dressed the victuals having presumed to taste them before the deity's portion had 
been presented to him. It must be understood that ceremonies of this kind are 
not practised upon the illness of every individual, but only perhaps once or twice 
in the course of a month, for noble or wealthy personages. They are common, 
however, to all the idolatrous inhabitants of the whole provinces of Kataia and 
Manji, amongst whom a physician is a rare character. And thus do the demons 
sport with the blindness of these deluded and wretched people." 

312. Pages 84, 85 ru 3. Q a^ 

Chaps. 82 and 83 

Between these two chapters F. has omitted the account of the battle called by 
the Burmese the Battle of Ngas-aunggyan, 1277 [not 1272 as in the MSS] which 
was fought on the Taping river about seventy miles above Bhamo. 

The fullest account is given by R., which will be found in full in Appendix II. 
No. 12, pp. 289-92. 

In order to appreciate the errors made by Polo, readers should see Cordier, 
Ser Marco Polo, pp. 87, 88, and especially G. E. Harvey, History of Burma, 1925, 
pp. 64-70, 333 and 336. 



313. Page 85, lines i, 2 

a greate penet or hill 

The word "penet" troubled me for a while, as I had hoped to discover in it a 
clue to Frampton's county. All dialect dictionaries, however, yielded negative 
results. It seems, therefore, to be a misprint for "pente," the modem French for 
a descent, slope, or declivity. This use in English must be very rare. Murray 
has no note of it. "Pent" is given as short for "Penthouse." 

314. Page 85, line 2 two dayes iourmy 
All the best texts read two-and-a-half days. 

315. Page 85, line 3 fauing one towne 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "une giant place," while P. has "une moult grant place." In 
R., however, we have "una pianura ampla, & spatiosa," which Marsden trans- 
lates as "a spacious plain." 

316. Page 85, line '5 

a Sazo of golde for fyue ofjiluer 

F. omits details here. R. continues: "The inhabitants are not allowed to be 
exporters of their own gold, but must dispose of it to the merchants who furnish 
them with such articles as they require; and as none but the natives themselves 
can gain access to the places of their residence, so high and strong are the situa- 
tions, and so difficult of approach, it is on this account that the transactions of 
business are conducted in the plain." 

"Nor will they allow," says Y., "anybody to accompany them so as to gain 
a knowledge of their abodes." 

317. Page 85, line 6 

you doe come vnto the prouince named Machay 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "Mien est apeles." Y. (and also P.) have "Amien." R. has 
"la citta di Mien," i.e. Burma. 

Unfortunately at the end of this chapter F. omits six short chapters (corre- 
sponding to Y. Bk. n. Chs. liv-lix; B. Chs. cxxvi-cxxxi; and M. Bk. n. Chs. 
XLiv-XLix) dealing with the city of Mien (probably Old Pagan, i.e. Tagaung) 
Bengal, Laos, Tonking, and the route back to Sindafu (Ch'eng-tu fu) and so to the 
point where the two roads meet near Juju, i.e. the "Cinguy" of F.'s next chapter. 

All these missing chapters are given in full in Appendix II. Nos. 13-18, pp. 292- 
296 from the R. texts, with notes between square brackets showing varying read- 
ings or additional matter from other texts. 


318. Page 85, line 11 

When they wil take any Elephant. . . 

For some unexplained reason the account given here really refers to tigers, and 
not elephants, and has been taken from the middle of one of the omitted chapters 
(Y. Bk. n. Ch. lex; B. Ch. cxxxi; and M. Bk. 11. Ch. xldc). 


319. Page 85, lines 19, 20 

another prouince named Cinguy 
Here we are back at the road bifurcation near Cho-chau, the "Giongiu" of 
fr. 1 1 16; the "Juju" of Y.; and "Gingui" of M.; corrupted to "Cinguy" by 
Santaella and F. 

320. Page 85, line 22 

a greate Citie named Cancafu 

This is Ho-kien fu ("Cacianfu" in fr. 11 16; "Cacanfu" in Y. and P.; and 
"Pazan-fu" in M.) in Chih-li, one hundred miles nearly due south of Peking and 
seventy-five miles from the coast at Chi-kow on the gulf of Pe-chih-li. Here the 
new itinerary starts through the eastern provinces of Cathay and Manzi to the 
city and harbour of Zayton (Chiian-chau fu, Tsiuan-chau fu) . 

R. gives more details of the city than any other text; he says it "belongs to 
Kataia [Cathay] and lies towards the south in returning by the other side of the 
province. The inhabitants worship idols, and burn the bodies of their dead. There 
are here also certain Christians, who have a church [only in R. and Z]' They are 
subjects of the Grand Khan, and his paper money is current amongst them. They 
gain their Hving by trade and manufacture, ha\ing silk in abundance, of which 
they weave tissues mixed with gold, and also very fine scarfs. The city has towns 
and castles under its jurisdiction. 

A great river flows beside it, by means of which large quantities of merchandise 
are conveyed to the city of Kanbalu ; for by the digging of many canals it is made 
to communicate with the capital [only in R. and, with differences, in ^. But 
we shall take our leave of this, and proceeding three days journey, speak of 
another city named Chan-glu." 


321. Page 86, line 9. r j - 

^ C3 5 J ji^g dayes lourney 

As we have just seen, R. makes it "three days journey," which agrees with all 
the best texts. 


322. Page 86, line 4 Citie narmd Cianglu 

At last we have a form which exactly corresponds to that of fr. i n6, as well as 
P. Yule, following M., reads "Changlu." It would appear to be the modern 
Tsang-chau, about thirty miles E.S.E. of Ho-kien fu. F.'s account is abbreviated, 
and the best is that found in R. (also in part in Z) '• 

"Chan-glu is a large province, situated towards the south, and is in the province 
of Kataia. It is under the dominion of the Grand Khan. The inhabitants worship 
idols, and burn the bodies of their dead. The stamped paper of the emperor is 
current among them. In this city and the district surrounding it they make great 
quantites of salt, by the following process. In the country is found a salsuginous 
earth. Upon this, when laid in large heaps, they pour water, which in its passage 
through the mass, imbibes the particles of salt, and is then collected in channels, 
from whence it is conveyed to very wide pans, not more than four inches in depth. 
In these it is well boiled, and then left to crystallize. The salt thus made is white and 
good, and is exported to various parts. Great profits are made by those who manu- 
facture it, and his majesty derives from it a considerable revenue. 

This district produces abundance of well-flavoured peaches, of such a size 
that one of them will weigh two pounds troy-weight. We shall now speak of 
another city named Chan-gli." 


323. Page 86, line 9 

Sixe dayes tourney beyonde the Citie named Cianglu 

But from Cianglu Polo went to CiangU which took five days. It seems that 
Santaella's copyist thought the two places were identical. 

There is, however, some excuse for the mistake, especially as "Ciangli" and 
the next place mentioned, "Candrafra," appear to have been mixed up. See 
next note. 

324. Page 86, lines 10, 11 

a Citie named Candrafra 

This has been identified with Yen-chau (35° 37' N. lat., 116° 50' E. long.). It 
appears in fr. 11 16 as "Tandinfu." Other readings are: Candinfu, Condinfii and 
Cundinfii. R. has "Tudin-fu." As Yule has pointed out (Vol. i. p. 137) Yen-chau 
was of only second importance, and the description and history applied to it 
really belong to "CiangU" which, as we have seen, is omitted by F. "Ciangli" of 
fi:. 1 1 16 is the " Chinangli" of Y. and must be identified with Tsi-nan fu (36° 43' 
N. lat., 1 16° 57' E. long.). 

See Appendix II. No. 19, pp. 296-7. 


325. Page 86, lines 11, 12 

had vnder it, . Jwelue Cities 
All the best texts read "eleven." 

326. Page 86, line 15 

ajayre Citie named Singuymata 

Here the name is well preserved. Fr. 11 16 has "Singiumatu," P. "Singuy 
matu," and Y. "Sinjumatu." It is the "Sunzumatu" of Friar Odoric (see Cathay 
and the Way Thither ^ Vol. n. p. 214 n. 2). It is to be identified with the modem 
Tsi-ning-chau. See A. C. Moule, T'oung PaOyJvly 191 2, pp. 431-3. 

Frampton has badly abbreviated Polo's account of "Candrafra" and "Sin- 
guymata," and has entirely omitted the story of Liytan Sangon (R.'s Lucansor). 
After "Singuymata" the texts of Y. and B. continue the itinerary to "Linju," 
" Piju " and " Siju," the two latter of which we can probably identify with Pei-chau 
and Su-t'sien respectively. " Linju " is a difficulty and I can see no way of accepting 
Yule's Lin-ch'ing as its modem equivalent. I would suggest Su-chau fii (34" 12 N., 
117" 20' E.) as fitting the conditions the best. See p. lii of the present volume. 

For a full account of " Singui-matu " and the passages omitted by F. see Ap- 
pendix II. Nos. 20, 21, pp. 297-9. 


327. Page 87, line i 

Going from Singuymata feuentSen dayes 

This represents an attempt to bridge the gap caused by the omitting of "Linju," 
"Piju" and "Siju." It might be a misprint, I think, for "sixteen" as found in R. 
This would be correct as the distances to be added are: 8 + 3 + 2 + 3. In the 
next few lines F. gives the usual formula about the people being subject to the 
Khan, etc., which, however, includes: "Their language is Persian." This is, of 
course, the mistake already referred to (Note 53), but none of the best texts 
mention the language here at all. 

328. Page 87, lines 9, 10 

Vpon this riuer the great Cane hathfiftiene great 

F. omits to tell us that quantities of large fish are found in the river. Santaella 
apparently dislikes possible exaggerations, and reduced the "15,000" of all the 
texts to "15." He does the same with the "twentye poore ftriplings" of Ch. 88 
(see Note 335). 


329. Page 87, line 12 and fiftiene mariners 
Read "twenty" here with all the best texts. 

330. Page 87, lines 14, 15 

The biggejl of them is named Chqyganguy, and the 
other Caycu and they be both a dayes tourney from 

"Choyganguy," (printed "Choygamum" by F. in the chapter heading), is the 
"Koi-gan-zu" of R.; "Coguiganguy" of P.; "Coiganju" of Y.; and "Coigangiu" 
offr. 1 1 16. 

It is to be identified with Hwai-ngan-chau, now -fu (usually spelt Hwaianfu in 
modem maps) in c. lat. 33"* 30' N., long. 119° 10' E. Its recent official name is 
Huaian-hien, though commonly called Huai-ch'eng. 

In a certain semi-confidential Admiralty publication (from which I have 
permission from the Controller of H.M. Stationery Office to quote, but not to 
mention by name) there is a Gazetteer of all the chief places in Kiangsu. In this, 
Hwai-ngan-chau is described as being very poor in population, while the whole 
city lies below flood-water level, so that sometimes in summer the gates have to be 
kept continually closed and backed up with earth ramparts for protection against 
floods. All the surrounding country is low-lying, swampy and liable to floods. 

This information fiilly prepares us for our inabiUty to discover any trace of 
"Caycu," the small town opposite. Perhaps it has been swept away in course of 
time. Hwai-ngan-chau actually consists of three walled cities, and we can imagine 
that its preservation has been only due to the constant combating of the floods by 
closing the gates as mentioned above. 

"Caycu" is the "Caigiu" of ft-. 11 16 and the "Caiju" of Y. It should be 
clearly distinguished from Yule's "Cayu," which we shall come to soon. (See 
Note 349.) 

F. tells us that both places are a day's journey from the sea. This information 
is apparently ab addition. Hwai-ngan-chau is about seventy-five miles from the 
Yellow Sea (Hwang-Hai). 

CHAPTER 88 [Misprinted 80 by F.] 

331. Page 87, line 16 

PaJJing the f aide riuer,you enter into J> prouince of 
Mangi. . . 

R. and ^ alone give us the following further information about Cathay before 
Polo goes on to describe Manzi or Southern China: 

"Upon crossing this river, you enter the noble province of Manji: but it must 
not be understood that a complete account has been given of the province of 


Kataia. Not the twentieth part have I described. Marco Polo in travelling 
through the province has only noted such cities as lay in his route, omitting those 
situated on the one side and the other, as well as many intermediate places, 
because a relation of them all would be a work of too great length, and prove 
fatiguing to the reader. 

Leaving these parts we shall, therefore, proceed to speak, in the first instance, 
of the manner in which the province of Manji was acquired, and then of its cities, 
the magnificence and riches of which shall be set forth in the subsequent part of 
our discourse." 

332. Page 87, line 17 

where raigneth a king named Fucufur 
I.e. Facfur, which, however, was only a title; being the Persian equivalent of 
the Chinese Tien-tzu, "Son of Heaven." 

333. Page 87, lines 22, 23 

being brode and full of water 
R. says "a bow-shot wide"; Y. translates, "more than an arblast-shot in width." 

334. Page 88, lines I, 2 ^^s verj> leackerous 

R. says "He maintained at his court and kept near his person about a thousand 
beautiful women in whose society he took delight," while Y. has " . . .all their 
delight was in women, and nought but women; and so it was above all with the 
King himself, for he took thought of nothing else but women, unless it were of 
charity to the poor." Fr. 11 16 simply has: "mes sun deUt estoit de fenmes et 
fasoit bien a povres jens." 

335. Page 88, lines 6, 7 

twenty e poore Jlriplings 

Fr. 116 has "XX""," so also Y. and MS C. of P. 

336. Page 88, line 9 

in theyeare of our Lord .1267. 

The date differs in the various MSS. All are wrong. It should read "1276." 
See Y. Vol. n. pp. 148 etseq. 

337. Page 88, lines 12, 13 earned Gaiffay 

I.e. Kinsay, the Chinese King-sze meaning "Capital." Its proper name was 
Lin-ngan, and is now Hang-chau. See further Note 367. 


338. Page 88, line 14 Baylqyncon Can 

Fr. 1 1 16 writes "Baian Cincsan," and Y. has "Bayan Chincsan." F. seems to 
have arrived at his corrupted form by imagining that "csan" was meant for 

"Bayan" means noble and the Chinese form Pe-yen could punningly mean 
" 100 eyes." The second part of the name is merely the title Chinsiang, "minister 
of State." 

339. Page 88, lines 17, 18 

fauing one named Sinphu . . . 

This city, which in Ch. 92 F. calls "Saimphu," is not mentioned until its proper 
place in the French texts or R. Unfortunately F. misses the whole point of the 
surrender of Kinsay as he omits the incident about the horoscope, and the Queen's 
consequent superstition. The account given by R. is much better arranged than 
that of either Y. or B. and for this reason, and also for the sake of comparison, is 
given in full in Appendix II. No. 22, pp. 299-301. 

CHAPTER 89. [Misprinted 91 by F.] 

340. Page 88, lines 23, 24 

Citie named Coygangui 

F. apparently fails to realize that this is the "Choyganguy" to which he has 
already referred in Ch. 87. See Note 330. 

341. Page 88, lines 26, 27 

and haue the Perjian tongue 
Here again the best texts have no mention of the language at all. See Note 327. 

CHAPTER 90. [Misprinted 92 by F.] 

342. Page 89, lines 4, 5 

and there be very deepe waters on echjide of the cawjey 

R. (and/^) gives more detail. R. says: "On both sides of the causeway there are 
very extensive marshy lakes, the waters of which are deep, and may be navigated ; 
nor is there besides this, any other road by which the province can be entered. 
It is, however, accessible by means of shipping; and in this manner it was that the 
officer who commanded his majesty's armies invaded it, by effecting a landing 
with his whole force." 

AMP 15 


343. Page 89, line 6 

a citie named Pangui 

Fr. 1116 reads "Pauchin"; Y. "Paukin"; and R. "Pau-ghin." It corresponds 
to the modem Pao-ying, a hien city dependent on Yang-chau. 

344. Page 89, lines 8, 9 

and here is greate fcarcitie ofcorne, , . 
Here F. is wrong. The text reads "a great plantee." 

345. Page 89, line 1 1 

named Cayn 

Fr. reads "Caiu," Y. "Cayu" and R. "Kain." It is the modem Kao-yu-chau, 
recently officially named Kao-yu-hien, having an estimated population of 

346. Page 89, line 13 

for the value of fixe pence 

The texts have "a Venetian groat," which was equal to 5^., or 4'99</. to be 
exact. See Y. Vol. n, p. 591. 

CHAPTER 91. [Misprinted 93 by F.] 

347. Page 89, line 15 

the grounde of Tinguy 

A misprint for city of Tinguy (?). Fr. 11 16 writes "Tigiu" to which B. supplies 
an n: Ti[n]giu; Y. has "Tiju" and R. "Tin-gui," It is apparently Tai-chau 
an important city of about 70,000 inhabitants. It is a great centre of the salt 
industry, and is entirely surrounded by a moat. F. omits to mention "Tinju" 
of which Y.'s texts says : 

"And there is a rich and noble city called Tinju, at which there is produced 
salt enough to supply the whole province, and I can tell you it brings the Great 
Kaan an incredible revenue. The people are Idolaters and subject to the Kaan." 
Yule would identify it with Tung-chau, but this is over ninety-eight miles from 
Tai-chau and is not a salt centre at all, being famous for cotton and silk. The 
suggestion made by J. G. Ferguson {Journ. North China Br. Roy. As. Soc. Vol. 
xxxvn. 1906, p. 190) that it is Hsien-nii-miao (Siennumiao) seems much more 
probable. It is only twenty-three miles from Tai-chau, is an important salt centre, 
and fits in better with the itinerary. 


CHAPTER 92. [Misprinted 94 by F.] 
34 • ^S^ 9 > 3 J Qifig named Manguy 

Spelt "Mangui" in the chapter heading. It is the "Yangiu" of fr. 11 16, the 
"Yanju" of Y., and "Yan-giu" of R., and is to be idendfied with Yang-chau on 
the west bank of the Grand Canal, eleven miles north of the Yangtze. It is die 
centre of the salt administration of the Liang Huai district. The principal indus- 
tries are lacquerware and silverwork, a possible echo of the harness-making 
mentioned by Polo [see Note 350 below]. 

349. Page 90, line 4 j r^ u .u j> r * 

andjpeake the rerjian tong 

Here again F. is alone in mentioning the language. See Note 327. 

350. Page 90, lines 4, 5 

This Citie hathe vnder it feauenteene Cities. . , 

Read "twenty-seven" with all the best texts. F. suppresses all details. R. is as 
follows : 

" . . .which, having twenty-seven towns under its jurisdiction, must be considered 
as a place of great consequence. It belongs to the dominion of the Grand Khan. 
The people are idolaters, and subsist by trade and manuel arts. They manufacture 
arms and all sorts of warlike accoutrements; in consequence of which many troops 
are stationed in this part of the country. [Y. translates: "a great amount of 
harness for knights and men-at-arms."] The city is the place of residence of one 
of the twelve nobles, before spoken of, who are appointed by his Majesty to the 
government of the provinces; [R. omits "car elle est esleue por un des xii sajes," 
which Y. translates, "for it has been chosen to be one of the twelve Sings"] and in 
room of one of these [unique to R.], Marco Polo, by special order of His Majesty, 
acted as governor of this city during the space of three years." See next note. 

351. Page 90, lines 5, 6 

and I Marcus Paultis did gouerne this vnder the 
great Cane thrie yeares 

We must not take this too literally, even if we accept the reading "Seigneurie" 
of fr. 1 1 16 and fr. 5631 (Pauthier's "A") instead of the "Sejouma" of fr. 5649 
(P.'s "G"). R. reads: "di commissione del gran Can, n'hebbe il gouerno tre 
anni . . . ," and it is due chiefly to this that subsequent editors have made him 
" GrtDvernor-General." At most he held the post of governor of the Lu, or circuit, of 
Yang-chau. Y. suggests the three years in question must have been between 1 282 
and 1287-8. 



In order to appreciate the whole argument it is necessary to study Pauthier, 
pp. 467, 492; Y. Vol. n. p. 157; and PelUot, T'oung-Pao, 1927, pp. 164-8, in his 
review of Charignon's edition ofLe livre de Marco Polo, 

352. Page 90, line 7 

a prouince or Citie named Manguy 

This must be a misprint as we have just finished wdth "Manguy." It is probably 
meant to be "Nanguy," a corrupted form of the "Nan-ghin" of Y. and R. and 
the "Nanchin" of fr. 11 16. Here Polo leaves his itinerary to describe "two great 
provinces of Manzi which lie towards the west." The first of these is "Nanchin," 
that is the Ngan-king or Anking fu of modem maps ; the second is " Saimphu," for 
"Saianfu," the modern Siang-yang fii. F. omits to mention that the Khan derives 
a large revenue firom the city. 


353* Howe this prouince was wonne by the great Cane 

Here we have a distorted precis of the surrender of Siang-yang. The much fuller 
accounts found in R. (for which see Appendix II. No. 23, pp. 301, 302 and the best 
French MSS are, however, equally difficult to explain. 

They tell us that Siang-yang held out three years after the rest of Manzi had 
surrendered. This is in exact contradiction to fact. The siege of Siang-yang was 
the prologue, not the epilogue, to the conquest of Southern China. But this is 
not all, for not only does the claim made by Polo of being personally responsible 
for its surrender seem exaggerated, but the Chinese records clearly prove that 
Polo could not have been at the siege at all. In the annals of the Sung shih, the 
siege is continually mentioned. It started in the v^dnter of 1268-9 and ended on 
March 17th, 1273. Now the three Polos did not reach Kublai Khan tiU 1275, 
or late in 1274 at the very earUest. It will be noticed in R.'s account (Appendix 
II. No. 23) that Marco is not mentioned. It has therefore been suggested that 
Nicolo and Maffeo were at the siege before their first return home. But, as we 
already know, the brothers had reached Acre by April, 1 269, and were in Venice 
during the next two years. 

Thus none of the Polos could possibly have been at the siege. It is quite con- 
trary to the whole character of Marco Polo to imagine that he is purposely lying 
in order to get credit for himself, his father and his uncle. 

We can only suspect the romantic pen of Rustichello. In order to appreciate 
how easy it would be to substitute the Polos for the people who did make "man- 
gonels or trebuchets" reference must be made to the excellent paper by A. C. 
Moule, "The Siege of Saianfii and the Murder of Achmach Bailo," Joum. North 


China Br. Roy. As. Soc. Vol. Lvm, 1927. We have already referred to the murder of 
the Bailo in Note 247, and mentioned how in the Jdmi'u't- Tawdrikh, Rashid-ud-din 
gives a curious version connecting the two events. Among other evidence from 
Chinese sources, Moule gives extracts from the biographies of two of the Moslems 
mentioned as the catapult-makers: A-lao-wa-ting (Alau'd Din) of Mu-fa-li 
(Mosul?) and I-ssu-ma-yin of Hsii-lieh or Shih-la (Shiraz?). In the biography 
of the latter, we learn that after his death his son Pu-pai held his office assisted 
by his brother I-pu-la-chin and his colleague Ma-ha-ma-sha. In these three men, 
Moule would recognize the three brothers mentioned by Rashid-ud-din as 
(A)bu bak(r), Ibrahim and Muhammad. 

Taking all the evidence given by Moule from Chinese sources as- a whole, it is 
impossible to doubt the accuracy of the stories told both by Polo and Rashid as 
far as the main events are concerned, but there is no thread of evidence that the 
Polos had anything, or could possibly have had anything to do with the siege. 
We can only imagine that Rustichello, the editor and translator of Romances, 
was thoroughly determined that the heroes of such an entertaining tale should 
not be three men with unknown names, and Moslems to boot! What could be 
easier than substituting the three heroes of the whole book ? 

354. Page 91, lines 12-14 

Goyngfrom Siamphu [sic], and trauelling ffteene 
dayes tourney towardes SyrocOy or to the Eajie 
foutheaji, you come vnto the Citie named Singuy 

The break in the itinerary in order to speak of Nanchin and Saianfu has caused 
trouble in the different MSS. 

F. and R. talk as if the itinerary had not been broken, and make "Singuy" 
fifteen days from Saianfu, which is reasonable. 

Fr. 1 1 16 and Y. make him travel fifteen miles from Yanju to "Singuy" on the 
Yangtze which is also reasonable. 

Several editors, however, have muddled the two up and made Polo reach the 
Yangtze after a journey of fifteen miles from Saianfu ! 

Y. is troubled about Polo's direction. The text says he went "sceloc" or 
"yseloc," south-east; whereas if we identify "Singuy" with Icheng or I-ching- 
hien (which seems correct) the direction was south-west. However, he dismisses 
the point on the grounds that Polo's style of orientation must not be taken too 
literally. But may not the explanation be that Polo is thinking of the direction 
from Saianfii? In order to get back to his route the name of the place might be 
altered as well as "jomee" becoming "milles," but the direction remain unaltered. 


Fr. 1 1 16 reads "angiu" as the point of the renewal of the itinerary. This has 
been written by B. as [Y] angiu, and taken to be the "Yangiu" of his Ch. CXLV. 
This seems entirely justifiable. Icheng is a walled town connected by a creek with 
the Yangtze, one and a half miles to the south. Another creek, the San-ch*a ho 
(I can find no trace of Y.'s *^two branch canals"), connects the town with the 
Grand Canal. 

355- Page 91, lines 16, 17 

riuer. . . named Tuognrou ....17. miles in breadth, 
and one hundred dayes iorney in length 

"Tuognrou" is a misprint for the "Tnoguron" as printed by F. in the margin. 
I cannot suggest how the corruption was arrived at, unless it is meant for "Ta- 
kiang," "great river," one of the best known names of the Yangtze. 

In Ch. 73 F. called it "Champhu." As regards its breadth, it is, of course, 
exaggerated. Most MSS give varying distances of ten, eight and six miles. In 
point of fact, the Yangtze averages from three-quarters to two miles in width 
during its course through the province of Kiangsu. Below Tungchau it is ten 
miles wide, and even exceeds this at Woosung on the coast opposite Shang-hai. 
The length is by no means exaggerated. The latest estimates put it somewhere 
between 3200 and 3500 miles. 

356. Page 91, line 20 

Jiue thoufande Jhippes or barkes 

So also in R. The number is missing in fr. 11 16, and B. has supplied "V**." 
Pauthier's text says that Polo heard from the Khan's revenue officer that 200,000 
ships passed up-stream in a year, without counting those going down. Y. has 
included this in his translation in addition to the statement that "Messer Marco 
Polo said that he once beheld at that city 15,000 vessels at one time." The smaller 
number, as in our text, seems much more Ukely to be the correct one. 

R. contains several lines not in the French MSS and is valuable for comparison. 
It is therefore given in full in Appendix II. No. 24, pp. 302, 303. 

Z also contains an important addition; see B. p. 140 note c. 


357. Page 92, line I Cianguy is a fmall Citie 

"Cuguy" of P.; "Caiju" of Y.; and "Caygiu" of B. This is, without any doubt, 
Kwa-chau on the north bank of the Yangtze, thirteen miles E.S.E. of Icheng. 


358. Page 92, lines 7, 8 

for it is better prouided with barkes than with 
cartes^ or horjes 

So ends the chapter, omitting, however, the very interesting passage on the 
Grand Canal and Crolden Island. 

Y. translates as follows : 

"You must understand that the Emperor hath caused a water-communication 
to be made from this city to Cambaluc, in the shape of a wide and deep channel 
dug between stream and stream, between lake and lake, forming as it were a great 
river on which large vessels can ply. And thus there is a communication all the 
way from this city of Caiju to Cambaluc ; so that great vessels with their loads 
can go the whole way. A land road al^o exists, for the earth dug from those chan- 
nels has been thrown up so as to form an embanked road on either side. 

"Just opjjosite to the city of Caiju, in the middle of the river, there stands a 
rocky island on which there is an idol-monastery containing some 200 idolatrous 
friars, and a vast number of idols. And this Abbey holds supremacy over a number 
of other idol-monasteries, just like an Archbishop's see among Christians." 

Both accounts, the Grand Canal and Gk)lden Island, are accurate. 

In the semi-confidential Admiralty pubHcation we read: 

"The embankments of the Grand Canal consist of earth actually thrown up 
when the bed of the canal was cut, further reinforced by soil taken from the 
adjacent plain. The eastern embankment measures about 100 ft. at the base and 
30 ft. at the top. The western embankment is somewhat narrower (about 80 ft. at 

the base, 10 ft. at the top) The top of the embankment provides a convenient 

towpath, but the available room is greatly reduced by the numerous houses which 
line the water-way." 

The changing nature of the river-bed at this point has continually altered the 
position of Chin Shan, or (Jolden Island. In 1823 it was described as being on 
the left bank; in 1842 it was an island in the middle of the river; in 1862 it was 
joined to the right bank by a spit; in 1907 it was nearly 700 yds. inside the low 
river edge. To-day it can be described as a precipitous rocky hill on the right bank 
of the river. It is covered with temples and crowned by a pagoda 213 ft. high. 

CHAPTER 96. [Misprinted 98 by F.] 

359. Page 92, line 9 

Pingramphu is a Citie . . . 

A much corrupted form of Chinghianfii (Chin-kiang fii), a walled city of the 
usual type on the south bank of the Yangtze, three and a quarter miles S.E. of 


360. Page 92, lines 10-12 

edified by Marsar Conojlor. . .in theyeare of our e 

Lord .12S8. 
The best texts read "1278." Fr. 11 16 repeats the date twice, and reads the 
name "Marsarchis." Y. has "Mar Sarghis" (or Dominus Sergius) which he 
says appears to have been a common name among Armenian and other Oriental 
Christians. Our text omits the usual details : that the city consists of idolaters, 
that they are subject to the Khan, use paper money, live by trade, have abundance 
of victuals, and make stuffs of silk and gold. 

361. Page 92, lines 16, 17 

the citie of Tigningui 
"Chinginguy" of P.; "Chinginju" of Y.; "Cangiu" of B.; while R. preserves 
a form somewhat similar to that of our text: "Tin-gui-gui." It is the modem 
Chang-chau, forty-eight miles south of Chinkiang, on the Grand Canal. R. 
explains that the walls of the city were surrounded by a double wall. If so, no 
trace now remains. The present walls, however, date from the Ming period and 
are four and a quarter miles in perimeter, 25 ft. high, surrounded by a moat 
5 to 15 yds. wide and 3 to 8 ft. deep. 

362. Page 92, line 18 men named Alanos 

The Alans, the remnants of whom were settled on the northern skirts of the 
Caucasus. See Y. Vol. n. pp. 179, 180; Cordier, Ser Marco Poloy pp. 95, 96 and 
the references given in those pages. 

363. Page92,Une2i ^^^^^^ 

Here we recognize the "Baylayncon" of Ch. 88, the "Baian" of fr. 11 16 and 
"Bayan" of Y. 

CHAPTER 97. [Misprinted 99 by F ] 

364. Page 93, line i ^.^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^ ^ -^ .^ 

The "Sugiu" offr. 1116; "Suju" ofY.; and "Sin-gui" of R. This is the modem 
Su-chau (Soochow), the capital of Kiangsu, with an estimated population of 
280,000. Polo's description applies to-day as it did in the thirteenth century. The 
city is celebrated for its silk-weaving, and is an important educational centre. 

365. Page 93, lines 1-7 

.40. miles in compasse. . . .7000. bridges ofjlone 
Y. reads "60 miles," but F. agrees with fr. 11 16. Our "7000" is a misprint for 
"6000" as found in the best texts. 


366. Page 93, lines 10, 11 

for fixe pence they doe giue more than fine pound of 
Here again, as in Ch. 90 (see Note 346), "sixe pence" is given for *'un venesian 
gros." All the best texts read "40 pounds" instead of "fiue" as in our present 

367. Page 93, line 1 1 

there be .17. Cities greate andfayre 

All the best texts read "16," and add that Su-Chau and Kinsay mean "City 
of Earth" and "City of Heaven" respectively. 

This false etymology is probably due to a local "vulgar error." Before pro- 
ceeding to describe Kinsay, most texts mention two intermediate cities. Fr. 11 16 
mentions three — ^Vugiu, Vughin and Ciangan. These I take to be P'ing-wang, 
Hu-chau, and Ka-shing. See the Introduction p. liv and map facing it. 

CHAPTERS 98-100. [Misprinted 97 by F.] 

368. Page 93, line 16 

a noble and famous Citie named Quinfay 
These three chapters constitute Frampton's entire description of Kinsay, which 
is given in such great and most interesting detail by Ramusio. No edition of Polo 
could possibly aflford to ignore it, and it will be found in full as passage No. 25 
in Appendix II. pp. 303-14. The "Ganfu" of F. is probably to be identified 
with Ning-po, but see Pelliot's suggestion in Cordier, op. cit. p. 98. 


369. Page 96, lines 2, 3 

what rent the greate Cane hathyearely 

So abridged is this chapter that it is necessary to give it almost complete from 
Ramusio: "In the first place, upon salt, the most productive article, he levies a 
yearly duty of eighty tomans of gold, each toman being eighty thousand saggi, 
and each saggio fully equal to a gold florin, and consequently amounting to six 
millions four hundred thousand ducats. This vast produce is occasioned by the 
vicinity of the province to the sea, and the number of salt lakes or marshes, in 
which, during the heat of summer, the water becomes crystallized, and fi*om whence 
a quantity of salt is taken, sufficient for the supply of five of the other divisions of 
the province. There is here cultivated and manufactured a large quantity of sugar, 
which pays, as do all other groceries, three and one-third per cent. The same is 
abo levied upon the wine, or fermented liquor, made of rice. The twelve classes 


of artisans, of whom we have already spoken, as having each a thoiisand shops, 
and also the merchants, as well as those who import the goods into the city, in 
the first instance, as those who carry them from thence to the interior, or who 
export them by sea, pay, in like manner, a duty of three and one-third per cent. ; 
but goods coming by sea from distant countries and regions, such as from India, 
pay ten per cent. 

So likewise all native articles of the country, as cattle, vegetable produce of the 
soil, and silk, pay a tithe to the King. The account being made up in the presence 
of Marco Polo [Pauthier's text says that the Khan sent Polo to inspect the amount 
of the revenues], he had an opportunity of seeing that the revenue of His Majesty, 
exclusively of that arising from salt, already stated, amounted in the year to the 
sum of two hundred and ten tomans (each toman being eighty thousand saggi 
of gold), or sixteen million eight hundred thousand ducats." 


370. Page 96, lines 11, 14, 19 

Thampinguy. . . Vguy. . .Greguy 

I.e. "Tanpi[n]giu. . .Vugui. . .Ghiugiu" of fr. 11 16, and "Tanpiju. . .Vuju. . . 
Ghiuju" of Y. 

I would identify them with Fu-yang, Tung-lu and Yeng-chau respectively 
(according to Phillips) rather than with Shao-hsing, Kin-hwa and Kiu-chau as 
suggested by Y. See further in Introduction of this volume, p. liv. 

371. Page 96, lines 22 etseqq. 

and many Lyons 

This account of cat9hing lions [tigers] appears to be unique to F. Anyway, 
I can find no trace of it in any of the leading texts. It may, perhaps occur in one 
of the innumerable Pipino versions. 

CHAPTER 103. [Misprinted loi by F.] 

372. Page 97, lines 12, 15, 16 

Cinaugnary. , .Signy. . .the Realme ofFuguy 

I.e. "Cianscian. . .Cugiu. . .the kingdom of Fugiu" of fr. 11 16, and "Chan- 
shan. . .Cuju. . .the kingdom of Fuju" of Y. Here again the true identification 
of the places is difficult, but, as already stated in the Introduction (p. Iv), I 
much prefer Phillips' "Lan-ki. . .Kiu-chau" to Y.'s "Sui-chang. . .Chu-chau" for 
the first two places. 


F. gives the distance between them as four days. This should be corrected to 
"three" with all the best texts. 
His "Realme of Fuguy" is Fu-chau, to which we return very soon. 

373. Page 97, line 20 and fuger fo plenty 
This is a mistake for "ginger." 

374. Page 97, lines 29, 30 

the Citie named Belimpha, which hath foure 
bridges of marble. . . 

I.e. Kien-ning fu, the "Quenli[n]fu" of fr. 1 1 16 and "Kelinfu" of Y. All texts 
have "three bridges" instead of "four." 

375. Page 98, line 6 

At thejefixe dayes tourneys ende,Jlandeth the Citie 
named Vguca. . . 

Here F. has got muddled in his distances. We are desding with the second half 
of the six days' journey, and fr. 11 16 reads: "Et au drean de ceste trois jomee 
a XV milles. . .." Thus it is clear that after travelling from Kiu-chau (Cugiu) 
to Kien-ning fu in three days, Polo goes on for another three days. At the 15th 
mile on the third day he reaches "Vguca," the "Unquen" of fr. 11 16, and 
"Unken" of Y. Continuing a further fifteen miles he gets to "the noble city 
of Fugiu. . .chief of the kingdom of Choncha." So at this point Polo was traveUing 
thirty miles a day. Thus "Unquen" should be seventy-five miles fi'om Kien-ning 
fu and fifteen miles from Fugiu. This fact, added to the agreement of the descrip- 
tion and direction, has made me (Introduction, p. Iv) suggest Ytiytian as its 
modem equivalent, rather than Min-tsing (Y.) or Yung-chun (Phillips). 

*'' * & 9 > 7 great plentye of fuger 

Both Z ^iid R. have additional information. Marsden translates: "Previously 
to its being brought under the dominion of the Grand Khan, the natives were 
unacquainted with the art of manufacturing sugar of a fine quality, and boiled 
it in such an imperfect manner, that when left to cool it remained in the state of 
a dark brown paste. But at the time when this city became subject to His Majesty's 
government, there happened to be at the court some persons from Babylon [i.e. 
Cairo] who were skilled in the process, and who, being sent thither, instructed 
the inhabitants in the mode of refining the sugar by means of the ashes of certain 



377. Page 98, lines 10, 11 

the Citie named Friguy, which is the head of y 
Realme of Tonca, which is one of the nyne 
Kingdomes of Mangi 
As we have seen, the "Realme" was mentioned by F. in the last chapter as 
"Fuguy," and is to be identified with Fu-chau in the province of Fu-kien. "Tonca" 
is the "Choncha" of fir. 11 16 and "Chonka" of Y. Its etymology has not been 
satisfactorily explained. See Y. Vol. n. p. 232. 

F. now correctly speaks of "nyne kingdomes," but in Ch. 100, line i, he said, 
"Mangi was diuided into .8. kingdomes,. . ..'* 

378. Page 98, lines 12, 13 

a Riuer offeauen miles in breadth 
Read "one mile" with the best texts. The rest of the text is much abbreviated. 
Apart from the passage from R. quoted below, Z ^^ 7° unique lines (see Bene- 
detto, pp. 157-8) of considerable interest. They deal with Uon-hunting with the 
help of dogs, "animalia vocata papiones," and the religious views of the people 
of Fugiu as described in a conversation with Marco and MafFeo. 

The passage from R. (also with slight differences in Y., etc.) is as follows: 
"In this place is stationed a large army for the protection of the country, and 
to be always in readiness to act, in the event of any city manifesting a disposition 
to rebel. Through the midst of it passes a river, a mile in breadth, upon the banks 
of which, on either side, are extensive and handsome buildings. In front of these, 
great numbers of ships are seen lying, having merchandise on board, and espe- 
cially sugar, of which large quantities are manufactured here also. Many vessels 
arrive at this port from India, freighted by merchants who bring with them rich 
assortments of jewels and pearls, upon the sale of which they obtain a considerable 
profit. This river discharged itself into the sea, at no great distance from the port 
named Zai-tun. The ships coming fi-om India ascend the river as high up as the 
city, which abounds with every sort of provision, and has delightful gardens, 
producing exquisite fruits." 


379. Page 98, lines 20, 21 

hauing abundance of all viduals 
F. omits to mention that many of the trees supply camphor, and that all the 
people are traders and craftsmen, subjects of the Khan, and under the government 
of Fugiu. 


380. Page 99, line 2 

for one Shippe that commeth vnto Alexandria 

Read, "one ship-load of pepper that commeth. ..." 

After mentioning the various percentages, Polo speaks of tatooing, the manu- 
facture of porcelain at Tiungiu [? Jau-chau fu], the language and writing of the 
province of Manzi, etc. All this is omitted by F. 

The process of the porcelain manufacture is the most interesting, and is found 
both in Z ^^<1 P- It is thus translated by Marsden: 

"They coUect a certain kind of earth, as it were, from a mine, and laying it in 
a great heap, suffer it to be exposed to the wind, the rain, and the sun, for thirty 
or forty years, during which time it is never disturbed. By this it becomes refined 
and fit for being wrought into the vessels above mentioned. Such colours as may 
be thought proper are then laid on, and the ware is afterwards baked in ovens or 
furnaces. Those persons, therefore, who cause the earth to be dug, collect it for 
their children and grandchildren. Great quantities of the manufacture are sold 
in the city, and for a Venetian groat you may purchase eight porcelain cups." 

Before passing on to speak of Japan, Polo gives us a chapter on the mer- 
chant ships of Manzi. This is omitted by F., but is to be found in full from R. in 
Appendix II. No. 26, pp. 314-15. 


381. Page 99, line 15 

the Hand named Ciampagu 

Written variously Cipangu, Chipangu, Cipingu, Zipingu, etc., representing the 
Chinese Jih-pen-kwe, Japan. 

382. Page 99, line 20 

fpeake the Perjian tong 

See Note 53. It will be unnecessary to refer again to this oft-recurring mistake. 

383. Page 99, line 25 

a piece of two Ryals of plate 

This I take to mean "of the diameter of a two-real piece of silver." Mr G. F. 
Hill, of the Dept. of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, tells me that the 
two-real piece was a common denomination of the Spanish coinage in Santaella's 
time. Under Ferdinand and Isabella it measured 1*15 in. in diameter, which is 
the exact measurement of "two fingers thick" of the average man's hand, as 
found in the best texts. 


384. Page 99, line 26 

greate plenty of precious fiones 

F. omits to mention the pink pearls (perles. . .rojes), which are described as 
being equal in value to the white ones. 

R. and Z ^^'^ ^*t some of the dead in the Island are buried, and others are 
burnt, and that when a body is burnt one of the pearls is placed in the mouth. 

385. Page 99, line 31 

AbataUy and the other Vonsaucin 

Written almost identically in the French texts. The "u" in the latter name 
should be "n." See note to line 22 of B. pp. 163, 164; also Cordier, op. cit. 
p. 103. 

386. Page 100, line 13 

and in that inftant, . . 

This certainly makes a better story, but in none of the MSS I have seen is the 
killing of the eight men in any way connected with the storm. In fact, in the 
French texts the incident about the pieces of iron comes later on. In R. we find 
the text rearranged as in F. Conti also speaks of the use of iron inserted under 
the skin for the same purpose. See p. 144 (last few lines) of this volume. 

387. Page 100, line 16 

tenne miles 

Read "four miles" with the best texts. 

388. Page 100, lines 23, 24 

retired backe by the Ilande 

R. (and also Z) ^^ ^ more detailed account: 

"The Tartars, on their part, acted with prudent circumspection, and, being 
concealed from view by some high land in the centre of the island, whilst the enemy 
were hurrying in pursuit of them by one road, made a circuit of the coast by 
another, which brought them to the place where the fleet of boats was at anchor." 

389. Page 100, line 30 

and ranfacked it 

F. omits "except the pretty women, whom they kept for their own use." 


390. Page 100, line 36 

in theyeare of our Lorde .1248. 

The date varies greatly in the different MSS. Fr. 11 16 has 1268, Y. 1279, R. 
1264. Kublai made many unsuccessful attempts to conquer Japan from 1266 to 
1274, but the final disaster (only briefly related by Polo, but with additional 
facts which apparently have no historical basis) came in 1 280-1. See Y. Vol. n. 
pp. 260, 261. F. omits to tell us the fate of the two commanders. 

I quote from R. which alone with Z gives the additional information about 
the mode of punishment on the island of Zorza. 

"The Grand Khan having learned some years after that the unfortunate issue 
of the expedition was to be attributed to the dissension between the two com- 
manders, caused the head of one of them to be cut off; the other he sent to the 
savage island of Zorza, where it is the custom to execute criminals in the following 
manner. They are wrapped round both arms, in the hide of a buffalo fresh taken 
fi-om the beast, which is sewed tight. As this dries, it compresses the body to such 
a degree that the sufferer is incapable of moving or in any manner helping himself, 
and thus miserably perishes." 

391. Page loi, line 8 ,^^^^, Handes 

This number agrees with that given in fr. 11 16. Y. has 7459, and R. 7440. In 
the Catalan map, where the information was almost certainly derived from Polo, 
the number is given as 7548. See Yule and Cordier, Cathay, Vol. i. p. 302. 

F. omits to tell us that the name of the sea containing the islands is *'The Sea of 
Chin," which is the same as saying "The Sea over against Manzi." 

392. Page loi, line 17 

a Countrey named Cyaban 

This is the "Cianba" offr. 11 16, and "Chamba" of Y., the mediaeval "Cham- 
pa," corresponding to the southern half of Annam. See M. G. Maspero, Le 
Royaume de Champa, Paris, 1928. 

It is interesting to note that in R., and also Zi ^e find an interpolation immedi- 
ately before the mention of Champa. As Y. says, Marsden's translation is forced 
so as to describe the China sea. His only rendering is as follows (ii. 266) : 

"Leaving the port of Zayton you sail westward and something south-westward 
for 1500 miles, passing a gulf called Cheinan [? 'An-nan, i.e. Tong-king], having 
a length of two months' sail towards the north. Along the whole of its south-east 


side it borders on the province of Manzi, and on the other side with Anin and 
Coloman, and many other provinces formerly spoken of. Within this gulf there are 
innumerable Islands, almost all well-peopled; and in these is found a great 
quantity of gold-dust, which is collected from the sea where the rivers discharge. 
There is copper also, and other things ; and the people drive a trade with each other 
in the things that are peculiar to their respective Islands. They have also a traffic 
with the people of the mainland, selling them gold and copper and other things; 
and purchasing in turn what they stand in need of. In the greater part of these 
Islands plenty of corn grows. This gulf is so great, and inhabited by so many 
people, that it seems like a world in itself." 

393. Page 1 01, line 20 ^^48. 

Read 1278 with the French MSS. The name of the "great Baron" is given in 
fr. 1 1 16 as "Sogatu," and in Y. as "Sagatu." In the Chinese history he appears 
as "Sotu." 

394. Page loi, line 24 his tribute 

F. omits to tell us what the tribute was. The French texts give it as twenty large 
elephants, to which R. and Z ^^^^ "and a very large quantity of lignum-aloes.' 
R. gives the king's name as Accambale. 

395. Page loi, line 25 ^^75. 

The best texts read 1285. Maspero thinks the actual date of Polo's visit to 
Champa was 1288. See Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 104. 

396. Page loi, lines 26-28 

he had .325. Among his fonnes he hadde .25. . . . 
men of armes 

All leading texts read "326" and " 150" capable of bearing arms. 

397. Page loi, line 29 

and great Mountaynes ofblacke Ebbanie 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "II ont maint bosches dou leigne que est apell^s bonus, que est 
mout noir, dou quel se font les escace e les calamans [les tehees et les ecritoires]." 

The "bonus" is "Abenuz" in Spanish, from the Persian "Abmis," hence our 
"ebony." F. makes no mention of the chessmen or pen-cases. 


398. Page 102, lines 2, 3 

.1400. miles. . .in compajfe three thoufand miles 

Read "1500" with the best texts. P. gives the circumference of Java as an even 
more exaggerated figure — 5000 miles. 
F.'s "feauen" Kings should read "a great King." 


399- Page 102, lines 9, 12, 13 

Sayling feauenteene myles two hundreth miles 

. . .locathe 

F. is very far out in his distances. For "17" read "700," and for "200" read 
"500." After passing the Condor group, Polo touched at some point on the 
N.E. coast of the Malay Peninsula which the best texts call "Locac," F.'s 

400. Page 102, line 20 

Jiandeth out of the way 

F. omits to add that the king discourages visits to the island, on account of the 
treasures and other resources it contains. 


401. Page 103, lines i, 2 

fine miles. . .Penthera 

Read " five hundred " miles. " Penthera " should read " Pentain " or " Pentam," 
in which we must recognise Bentan. F. becomes very hard to follow here, as he 
obviously has no idea what Santaella means. His mileages are all wrong, and 
even in the best texts are not easy to understand. I need only refer here to Dr 
Blagden's remarks on pp. Ivi et seq. of this work. 

402. Page 103, lines 13, 14 

Beyonde it Jiandeth the Realme of Ferlech 

The French texts tell us that Ferlec, or Perlec (in Malay Periak), was so overrun 
by Saracen merchants that the natives were converted to Mahommedanism. 

AMP 16 



403. Page 103, line 19 ^^^^ 

Written also by F. as Baflina and Baxina. It is the "Basman" of fr. 1116 and 
R.; and the "Basma" of Y. Blagden considers this to be undoubtedly Pasai, 
though the etymology is hard to explain. See p. lix. 

404. Page 103, line 24 j tt • 

^ ^ 13 a> t Qjf^ Unicornes 

This, of course, is the rhinoceros. F. omits a short passage well worth quoting. 
Y. translates: 

" 'Tis a passing ugly beast to look upon, and is not in the least like that whidh 
our stories tell us of as being caught in the lap of a virgin; in fact, 'tis altogether 
different from what we fancied," 

This mediaeval legend is said to have arisen from Aelian, xvi. 20, where mention 
is made of the gentleness of the unicorn to its mate at mating time. Personally 
I am inclined to attribute the legend to the well-known folk-lore belief of the power 
of virginity. For a good general article on the unicorn see Ency. Brit, nth Edit. 
Vol. xxvn. p. 581, where many useful references are given. 

^ ^' ° ^' Cieno or miery puddel 

It would appear that F. has left the Spanish cienOy mire, imtranslated by an 

406. Paee 104, line 12 « 

For Samatra, which probably gave its name to the whole island. R. gives us 
much fuller details of the precautions taken by Polo against the natives whom he 
thought were cannibals : 

" . . .Marco Polo established himself on shore, with a party of about 2,000 men; 
and in order to guard against mischief from the savage natives, who seek for 
opportunities of seizing stragglers, putting them to death and eating them, he 
caused a large and deep ditch to be dug around him on the land side, in such a 
manner that each of its extremities terminated in the port, where the shipping lay. 
This ditch he strengthened by erecting several blockhouses or redoubts of wood, 
the country affording an abundant supply of that material ; and being defended 
by this kind of fortification, he kept the party in complete security during the five 


months of their residence. Such was the confidence inspired amongst the natives, 
that they furnished supplies of victuals and other necessary articles according to 
an agreement made with them." 

407. Page 104, lines 19, 20 

and from them commeth water, as it commethfrom 
the vyne. . . 

Once again we must turn to R. who gives the fullest description of the tree, the 
Areng Saccharifera, which supplies the toddy. 

"So wholesome are the qualities of this liquor, that it affords relief in dropsical 
complaints, as well as in those of the lungs and of the spleen. When these shoots 
that have been cut are perceived not to yield any more juice, they contrive to 
water the trees, by bringing from the river, in pipes or channels, so much water 
as is sufficient for the purpose; and upon this being done, the juice runs again as 
it did at first. Some trees naturally yield it of a reddish, and others of a pale colour. 
The Indian nuts also grow here, of the size of a man's head, containing an edible 
substance that is sweet and pleasant to the taste, and white as milk. The cavity 
of this pulp is filled with a liquor clear as water, cool and better flavoured and 
more delicate than wine or any other kind of drink whatever. The inhabitants 
feed upon flesh of every sort, good or bad, without distinction." 

The passage about the cocoa-nuts appears in F. as "In this Hand there groweth 
great plentie of the Indian nuts," but even so has become misplaced as it was not 
Dagroian but Samara that is described as producing nuts. 

VB also contains the passage about the."noxe de India grosso quanto el chapo 
de I'omo. . . " etc. 

408. Page 104, line 22 

which is named Deragoya 

Written "Dagroian" in the French texts. It is still unidentified, but must have 
been near Samara on the same line of coast. 


409. Page 105, lines 6-8 

Lambry. . .great plentie of f pices. . .men that 
haue feathers about their priuities . . . 

"Lambri," cf. fi-. 11 16, was somewhere near Kota Raja at the N.W. end of 
Sumatra. The description of the region as given by Polo has proved too incredible 
for Santaella. 



He omits to mention the brazil of which Polo brought some seed to Venice, and 
tried in vain to grow. 

The tailed men of Lambri have become "men that haue feathers about their 
priuities . . . ," while the unicorns and other beasts are ignored. 

410. Page 105, line 10 ^^^^^^^ 

The "Fansur" of the French MSS is to be identified with Baros, famous for 
its camphor. 

Z and R. (also VB to a lesser extent) have a much fuller account of the sago tree 
than is found in other texts. 

See Appendix II. No. 27, pp. 315, 316, where R.'s version is given in full. 


411. Page 105, lines 16-18 

Going from Lambry fayling .140. myles. . .the one 
is named Necumea, and the other Nangania 

F. makes no mention of the "ysle molt pitete que est apelle Gauenispola," 
lying very close to Lambri. Although Polo says he will tell us about the island we 
hear nothing more of it. This has caused confusion in some of the texts, for a few 
lines later he speaks of "two islands, of which one is called Necuveran." 

Some editors have made Gauenispola the "other" island. 

All is clear, however, in fr. 11 16. 

All the best texts read "about 150 miles" as the distance from Lanbri to the 

F.'s "Necumea" and "Nangania" (which he spells variously "Nangama" 
and "Nangana") are corruptions of Necuveran and Angaman, in which it is not 
difficult to see the Nicobars and Andamans. 

412. Page 105, line 18 

The people of Necumea, Hue like heajles 

Here F.'s account of the immorality of the inhabitants appears to be unique. 
He omits, however, to mention that they are idolaters. 

The Z t^x^ ^^s ^^ interesting passage describing how the natives buy most 
beautiful kerchiefs or face-napkins of silk ("taveleas sive facitergia de Syrico") 
from passing traders. They make no use of them except to keep them in their 
houses hung over poles. They value them as if they were pearls or precious stones, 
and those who possess the most and finest are held to be nobler and greater than 
the rest. 


Mr E. H. Man, C.I.E., the well-known expert on the Nicobars and Andamans, 
informs me, through Dr Blagden, that Polo's description is perfectly correct, and 
that to this day the natives will eagerly store up every gaudy silk handkerchief 
or piece of cloth which they can obtain from the traders. Plated goods, German 
silver spoons, cruet stands, chains and other similar objects have been added since 
Polo's day. All these are found hanging up inside the huts. No other use is made 
of them except to excite the admiration and envy of the less fortunate neighbour. 
As it is incumbent on mourners to destroy the personal property of their deceased 
relatives at their death, one sees valuable wooden chests and such objects as have 
been mentioned above covering the graves of the recently deceased. They are, 
moreover, specially damaged in some way or other as to render them useless 
in the future. 

413. Page 106, lines i, 2 

mountaines ofSandolos or Sanders, and of nuts of 
India, and of Gardamonia, and many other fpyces 

Fr. 1 1 16 has "il sunt sandal vermoil [VB and R. say both red and white varieties 
are found] e noces d'Inde e garofal et berci e maintes autres bonnes arbres." 

The Z text also adds apples of Paradise (? plantains, see Y. Vol. i. p. 99), to 
which F. refers in Chs. 15 (p. 35) and 118 (p. in). 

It is hard to say where F. gets his "mountaines" from; we must read "woods 
containing. ..." 

For a note on sandalwood, see my Ocean of Story, Vol. vn. pp. 105-7. I imagine 
that "Gardamonia" is some corrupted form of the "Garofal" of the best texts. 
This latter word needs a little explanation. Other forms are Garophul and Karpophul; 
it apparently became Hellenised as Caryophyllum, whence the modern French 
girofle. The English clove was derived from clou, nail, which name was given by 
the French in 1770 when they introduced the clove-tree into Mauritius. See 
further, Ocean of Story, Vol. vm. p. 96 n. 2. It is of interest to note that Polo mistook 
the ports whence cloves were shipped for the home of the plant, whereas Nicolo 
de' Conti was the first traveller to describe it correctly as coming from the Moluccas 
(or rather Banda) to Java and Sumatra, see p. 133 of this volume, where "Clauas" 
is a mistake for "lauas," the Greater and Lesser Java. 

414. Page 106, line 6 . , , ,. /•/•.• 

^ ^ ^ ' great plentie offpices 

R. mentions "Indian nuts, apples of Paradise, and many other fruits different 
from those which grow in our country." 

Z also adds an interesting passage on the strength of the currents, and how ships 
find it impossible to anchor, and become entangled with the large amount of 
trees and roots which are washed into the gulf 



415. Page 106, lines 10, 11 

being in compajje thirtie thoufand myles 

This is a compromise of F. The French texts say 2400 miles, and in ancient 
times 3600 miles, but that part of the island has become submerged by the strong 
winds. Y.'s text adds: "For you must know that, on the side where the north 
wind strikes, the Island is very low and flat, insomuch that in approaching on 
board ship from the high seas you do not see the land till you are right upon it." 

Although thirteenth-century writers have greatly reduced the exaggerated 
estimates of the circumference of Ceylon, they still made it nearly four times too 

416. Page 106, line II a very rich king 

F. omits to mention his name, Sendemain. It is not clear to whom Polo refers 
here. The native king from 1267 to 1301 was Pandita Prakama Bahu II. See 
further Cordier, Set Marco Polo, p. in. 

417. Page 106, line 14 

and of the Wyne of trees 

F. omits to mention brazil, sappan-wood, which is described as being very 
abundant and the best in the world. 

418. Page 106, line 17 

and ofdiuerfe other kindes 

The French texts also name sapphires, while Z and R. add garnets. F. omits to 
tell us that the Khan tried to procure the great ruby from the king of Ceylon, 
but was unable to obtain it at any price. 


419. Page 107, line 2 fonie myles 
All the best texts read "sixty miles." 

420. Page 107, lines 9, 10 

named Sendarba. . .king of Nor 

Fr. 1 116 has "Sender Bandi Devar," and Y. "Sonder Bandi Davar." F.'s 
rendering must have been due to an error in Santaella's MS, such as we find in 
the Latin text (Bib. Nat. lat. 3195) where the Tuscan is corrupted by Pipino's 


version (see p. xxiv of this volume). Here we read "Senderba, rex de Var," which 
at once enables us to see how F. has arrived at his corruption. 
As to the possible identification of the king, see Y. Vol. n. pp 333 et seq. 

421. Page 107, line II The fijhermen do fijh 

F. abbreviates here sadly. The French texts give a fairly detailed account of 
the methods employed by the pearl-fishers. R. adds: 

"These [oysters] they bring up in bags made of netting that are fastened about 
their bodies, and then repeat the operation, rising to the surface when they can 
no longer keep their breath, and after a short interval diving again. In this 
operation they persevere dining the whole of the day, and by their exertions 
accumulate (in the course of the season) a quantity of oysters sufficient to supply 
the demands of all coimtries. The greater portion of the pearls obtained firom the 
fisheries in this gulf are round, and of a good lustre. The spot where the oysters 
are taken in the greatest number is called Betala, on the shore of the mainland; 
and from thence the fishery extends sixty miles to the southward." 

^ * S 7' 'a hundereth & foure 

Apparently a mistake for "108," the mystical number among Brahmans and 
Buddhists. See Y. Vol. n. p. 347; and Ocean of Story ^ Vol. ix. p. 145. Here I 
mention a suggested interpretation offered by M. Pelliot, viz. that 108 represents 
a multipHcation of the 12 months by the 9 planets. R. adds that their prayer 
consists of the words "pacauca, pacauca, pacauca" [? Pagava, "Lord"]. 

^ ^* ° '' tenne riche Cities 

Read with fi:. 11 16, "une bone cite." F. omits to tell us of the restrictions 
enforced by the king against taking pearls out of the kingdom, and of the big 
prices he gives for those brought to him. 

424. Page 107, lines 31-33 

countrey named Cormos, at the price of fate ounces 
of gold euery horfe, . . . The merchaunts of Quin- 
fajy, of Suffer, and of Beden, . . . 

F. has muddled the text. Fr. 1116 reads: " . . .les mercant de Curmos e de 
Qjiisci et de Dufar et d'Escer e de Aden II vendent le un bien V« saje d'or 


que vaillent plus de c mars d'arjent." These places we now recognize as Hormuz, 
Kais [which F. has taken to mean "Quinfay"], Dhofar, Sohar, and Aden. 

The 500 "saje" or "saggi" is probably intended for dinars. See Y. Vol. n. 
p. 349; and Stein, Rdjatarahgini, Vol. n. pp. 308-28. 

425. Page 108, line 24 Thefe people 

F. omits to mention the name of the caste, which is given in the French texts 
as "govi" or "gavi." It almost certainly corresponds to the modern Paraiyan 
caste of the Tamil country. See Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, 
Vol. IV. pp. 77-139. 

426. Page 108, line ciq t ^l ^ ■ 

^ ° ' ^^ Jn tnys prouince . . . 

The account of the manners and customs of the people of "Maabar" [the 
Coromandel coastal regions] is so greatly abbreviated by F. that I have given the 
full account from R. in Appendix II. No. 28, pp. 316-19. 


^ '' 6 9» 9 Mvfuly is a Region 

Read "Mutfili" with all the best MSS. It is to be identified with Motupalli, a 
port in the Guntur district of Madras, 1 70 miles north of the capital. 

F., whose accounts of the Indian Provinces are all abbreviated, omits to tell 
us that the country was formerly under the rule of a king, but that since his death 
his queen [Rudrama Devi] had ruled with great justice for forty years. 

The chief food of the inhabitants is flesh, rice and milk; to which R. and Z ^^^ 
fish and fruits. 

428. Page 109, line 25 , , r , , a , 

they do find the Adamants 

F. has muddled the account about the methods of obtaining the diamonds, and 
has entirely omitted any mention of the famous legend, so well known from Sindbad 
the Sailor's second voyage, of the eagles and the flesh to which the diamonds stick. 
Full reference to this incident will be found in V. Chauvin, Bibliographie des Ouvrages 
Arabes, vii. pp. 10, 11. We shall meet Sindbad's huge bird, the rukh, or roc, when 
we come to Madagascar. 

The Z t^'^t tells us there are many other methods as well as those mentioned 
by which the diamonds are obtained. 

F. also omits to mention the fine buckrams which are described as looking like 
the tissue of a spider's web. See Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, p. 118. 


429. Page no, line 6 Thomas Dauana 

We can see from this latter word how the "Ananias" which we find in R. has 
been created. We should read "Avarian" with the French texts, which has been 
explained as a corruption of the Arabic Hawdriy, "An apostle of the Lord Jesus 
Christ." For traditions relating to St Thomas see Cordier, op. cit. pp. 116, 117; 
and M. Longworth Dames, Duarte Barbosa, Hakluyt Society, 1921, Vol. 11. pp. 98 
(and note)- 1 01, 126-9. 

F. omits to mention the legend of St Thomas' death by a chance arrow intended 
for a peacock. 

The French texts, as well as R., tell us that the colour of the earth where the 
Saint was martyred is red ; and J^ adds that Marco Polo took some of it to Venice 
with him. 

The date of the miracle should read " 1288" with all the best texts. 

R. adds a passage about the "Indian Nuts." It is much more detailed in J^' 
See B. p. 187 note a. 

^^ • o » J qyle of Aioniolly 

Read "oleo de sosiman" with fr. 11 16 etc., "oil of sesame." 


431. Page III, lines 2, 3 

a Prouince named Lake, and there dwell the men named 

For "Lar," or more correctly "Lat-desa," an early name for Guzerat and 
North Konkan. 

"Bragmanos" is a corrupted form of "Abraiaman" as found in the French 
texts, apparently an Arabized form of Brahman, 

432. Page III, line 4 

They will not lye for all the worlde 

Both Z and R. have an additional passage. R. reads: 

"When any foreign merchant, unacquainted with the usages of the country, 
introduces himself to one of these, and commits to his hands the care of his adven- 
ture, this Brahman undertakes the management of it, disposes of the goods, and 
renders a faithful account of the proceeds, attending scrupulously to the interests 
of the stranger, and not demanding any recompense for his trouble, should the 
owner uncourteously omit to make him any gratuitous offer." 


433. Page III, line 9 They do honour the Idols 

Before speaking of this, the best texts mention the sacred thread (see Ocean of 
Story i Vol. vn. pp. 26-8), and the king who sends to Soli (Chola) for pearls and 
precious stones. 

434. Page III, line 14 

doe eate and drinke temperately 

F. omits various other superstitions; e.g. observing if a tarantula advances fix)m 
a lucky quarter, sneezing, and the flight of a swallow; and also the mention of 
betel chewing. See further, p. 321. 

435. Page III, line 16 ^^^^^ 

Written " Ciugui " in fr. 1 1 1 6, and " Chughi " in Y. The sect of yogis is, of course, 
meant. F. omits the passage about the novices and the test they have to undergo 
at the hands of dancing-girls. 

Both R. and Z have a curious passage about the care taken by the yogis to 
scatter their ordure. See Wright, p. 404, and B. p. 192 note d. 

This chapter should be followed by a short one on Ceylon and another on the 
city of Gail [Kail, a port on the Tinnevelly coastal region]. Both are given in 
full from R. in Appendix II. Nos. 29, 30, pp. 319-321. 


436. Page 112, lines i, 2 

Orbay is a Kingdoms . . . beyond Marbarfiue miles 
This should be written "Coilum," our "Quilon." For "fine" read "fiue 

F.'s account is much abbreviated. He makes no mention of brazil or ginger, 

nor does he name the animals : lions, parrots, peacocks, cocks and hens. 


437. Page 112, last line ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ i^ ^^ 

In speaking of this country around Cape Comorin, Polo finishes the chapter 
with the following sentence (omitted by F.) : 

"II hi a gat paul si devises que ce estoit mervoille. Lions, liopars, lonces, ont 
en abondance." It is hard to say exactly what is meant by "gat paul," but as Y. 
has pointed out (Vol. n. p. 385) it must refer to some variety of monkey. The P. 
MSS read "granz paluz et moult grans pautains," swamps and marshes; being 
entirely ignorant of the word. See P. Vol. n. p. 646. 



438. Page 113, lines 1-3 

thirtie miles, . . . and come to the Region of Hely, 
where they are all Idolaters 

Read "three hundred miles." Hely, or Ely, lay about sixteen miles north of 
Cananore on the Malabar coast. Monte d'Ely is famous as being the first Indian 
land sighted by Vasco da Gama in 1498. The meaning of the word is not easy 
to discover, and many suggestions have been made (see M. L. Dames, Duarte 
Barbosa, Vol. n. pp. i, 2). Later forms of the word have substituted "D" for the 
"H," due, it would appear, to confusion with the tali in Ramantali, a name given 
to-day to the country around Monte d'Ely. After saying that the people are 
idolaters, F. omits to tell us that there is no proper harbour in the country, but that 
the rivers have good estuaries. Pepper, ginger, and other spices are also mentioned. 
The ginger is described by Conti (see p . 1 2 7 of this volume) as being called ' ' Bellyedy, 
Gebelly and Belly," known as Belledi or Baladi to the Italians of the fourteenth 
century. Marco Polo appears to have been the first traveller to have seen the plant 
alive. It was first described by John of Montecorvino in 1292, and was exported 
to Europe as a sweet in the Middle Ages. 

439. Page 113, lines 8, 9 

that it is nojinne to robbe them 

F. omits to add that ships arriving from Manzi and other places lay in their 
cargoes in six or eight days owing to the lack of a port and danger of sandbanks. 
The ships from Manzi, however, have large wooden anchors which hold in the 
worst weather. 


440. Page 113, lines 16, 17 

a hundred Shippes iogither, . . . they roue into the 
Countrey a hundred miles 

F. has muddled the sense here. The account found in R. is reliable: 
"In order that no ships may escape them, they anchor their vessels at the dis- 
tance of five miles from each other; twenty ships thereby occupying a space of a 
hundred miles. Upon a trader's appearing in sight of one of them, a signal is 
made by fire or by smoke; when they all draw close together, and capture the 
vessel as she attempts to pass. No injury is done to the persons of the crew; but 
as soon as they have made prize of the ship, they turn them to provide themselves 


with another cargo, which, in case of their passing that way again, may be the 
means of enriching their captors a second time."^ 

Mention is also made of copper, gold brocades, silks, gauze, drugs, etc. brought 
by the ships from Manzi. 


441. Page 114, line 7 

they giue them Jo great tormentes. . . 

The French texts tell us they are made to drink "tamarendi et eive de mer," 
apparently some fruit mixed with the salt water, which causes them to void any 
pearls or precious stones they may have swallowed. 

F. makes no mention of the Guzerat (Giefurath) pepper, ginger, indigo or cotton 
which is found in all the best texts. 

CHAPTER 124 - 

442. Page 114, line 10 

Thoma & vnto Sembelech 

I.e. Tana and Semenat, the modern Thana and Somnath. F, has greatly ab- 
breviated the two original chapters into one very short one, and omitted Cambaet, 

He makes his usual error about the "language and fayth of Perfia." Consider- 
ably more detail is found in the leading texts. Tana is described as being an im- 
portant shipping centre, with a large export of leather, buckram and cotton. 
The king has an arrangement with the corsairs whereby he obtains a supply of 
horses. The exports of Cambaet are given as indigo, buckram, cotton and hides, 
while the chief imports are gold, silver and copper to which R. adds tutia, for 
making kohl for the eyes. Semenat is merely described as a great kingdom where 
the people are honest and enjoy good trade by their industry. 

^ CHAPTER 125 

443. Page 114 ^ 

In this chapter F. merely tells us he will not weary his readers by describing 
the places inland. He omits, however, to mention Kesmacoran, or Mekran, 
although he refers to it in Ch. 126 as Befmaceian. R. says of it: 

"Some of the inhabitants are idolaters, but the greater part are Saracens. They 
subsist by trade and manufactures. Their food is rice and wheat, together with 
flesh and milk, which they have in abundance. Many merchants resort thither, 
both by sea and land." 

Thus the brief description of the seaports of India ends. As I have mentioned 

1 To the list of spices, which includes turbit {Radex Turpetti), we should add 
cinnamon and nuts of India. R. reads "cubebs" instead of "turbit." 


in the Introduction, except at one or two points we are on no fixed itinerary and 
the muddled order of the places given must not surprise us. See Y. Vol. 11. p. 403. 


444. Page 115, line 2 ,2^, miles 
Read "500 miles." 

445. Page 115, line 8 

Auguji, September, and October 
Read "March, April, and May." 

^ ■ ^ ^' vntill they befeauen 

The best texts state that if the children be girls they stay with their mothers, 
but if boys they go to their fathers on arriving at the age of fourteen. 

For Chau Ju-kwa's remarks on the Male and Female islands see Cordier, Ser 
Marco Polo, p. 120. 


447. Page 115, line 20 „ , , r^•/- r 

an liande named Dijcorjia 

This is, of course, Socotra, written Scotra in the best MSS. The name as written 
by F. is a corruption of the Dioscorides of the Greeks. 

448. Page 115, line 22 , ,^ r a 1 

great abundace of Amber 

R. gives us more details: "The inhabitants find much ambergris upon their 
coasts, which is voided from the entrails of whales. Being an article of merchandise 
in great demand, they make it a business to take these fish; and this they do by 
means of a barbed iron, which they strike into the whale so firmly that it cannot 
be drawn out. To the iron a long line is fastened, with a buoy at the end, for the 
purpose of discovering the place where the fish, when dead, is to be found. They 
then drag it to the shore, and proceed to extract the ambergris from its belly, 
whilst from its head they procure several casks of oil." 

A very much fuller account will be found in the Z text. See B. p. 204. 

449- 5 0? 5 clothes of Cottenwooll 

F. omits to mention salt fish, meat, milk and rice. Merchants purchase gold at 
the island, and vessels bound for Aden touch at it. 

The Archbishop is subject, not to the Pope, but to the "grant prelais" at Aden. 
All these details are found in the leading texts. 



Af\o. Pasje 116, line 8 r .^ 

^^ ° ' foure Moores 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads "esceque," sheikh. 

451. Page 116, line 9 

a thouf and four hundred myles 
Read "about four thousand miles." 

452. Page 116, lines 11, 12 

but of Elephants, and ofCammels 

This is a mistake. The best texts only say camel's flesh was eaten, but R. and Z 
add that although the flesh of camels is preferred, that of other cattle is also eaten. 

F. omits to mention Madagascar as a great entrepot for ships from all parts of 
the world, or to speak of the high seas and strong currents of the Indian Ocean. 

453. Page 116, lines 16, 17 

the lawe of a wilde Boare which wayghed twentie 
fiue poundes 

Here again is a mistake. Apparently the reference is to the boar's tusks [? hip- 
popotami teeth] mentioned later in the French texts. Their weight, however, is 
given as fourteen pounds. 

454. Page 1 1 6, line 1 8 

a certaine foule named Nichas 

This is, of course, the roc or rukh, for which see Ocean of Story, Vol. i. pp. 103-5, 
where I have collected numerous references. The best bibliography on the 
subject is to be found in Chauvin, Bib. des Ouvrages Arabes, v. p. 228 and vn. 
pp. 10-14. 

I have no idea how F. arrived at his "Nichas." 

455. Page 116, line 23 

at his pleafure 

So ends F.'s chapter; but he makes an omission that is of more importance than 
appears at first sight — he fails to mention asses and giraffes among the "wild 
beasts of strange aspect" found in Madagascar. The point is that giraffes do not, 
and never did, exist in the island. So also with regard to elephants, camels, lions, 


leopards and bears. This and other facts led Yule to suspect some confusion between 
Makdashau (Magadoxo) and Madagascar. We must not forget, of course, that 
Polo is only speaking by hearsay, and that after coasting past Mekran his next 
port of call would be Ormuz. 

For the giraffes see further, Note 459. 


456. Page 117, lines i, 2 

tenne thoufand myles in compajfe 
Read "two thousand miles. ..." 

457. Page 117, lines 4, 5 

as fixe of our men may beare 
Read "they can carry enough for four and eat enough for five men." 

458. Page 117, line 7 The women are filthy 

F. gives no details as to their huge mouths, big eyes, thick noses and enormous 
drooping breasts. 

Modesty also makes him ignore the old myth about the human method of 
copulation adopted by the elephants. 

459. Page 117, line 10 

The wilde beaftes of thy s Hand 

I.e. elephants, lions, and giraffes. Sheep are also mentioned. For an interesting 
work on giraffes see B. Laufer, The Giraffe in History and Art, Field Museum of 
Natural History, Chicago, 1928. In dealing with the Middle Ages the author points 
out (p. 74) that Polo is the first to recognize the wider distribution of the giraffe 
and to look for it beyond the limits of Abyssinia. Clavijo (1403) gives us a very 
good account. See Broadway Travellers edition, p. 149. 

F. omits to tell us of the equipment of the warriors, and of the howdahs from 
which they fight, and of the curious custom of making the elephants intoxicated 
before a battle. 


460. Page 1 1 7, line 1 2 

all whyche I haue declared of India 

All the best texts speak more especially of the islands of the Sea of India, and 
the divisions of India the Greater and India the Lesser. See Y. Vol. 11. pp. 424-7. 



461. Page 118, line i . , ^, «. 

prouince named Ahajhia 

This is the Italianized tJabash, i.e. Abyssinia. The text is muddled here. There 
were six kings, three of whom were Christians and three Saracens. The Christians 
bear three facial marks, the Jews two, and the Saracens only one. 

462. Pageii8,U„e8 ^^^^ 
I.e. Aden. 

463. Page 118, line 13 

war againjl the Souldan of Aden 

F. omits the story of the bishop who visited the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem 
on behalf of the Christian King of Abash. It tells how he was subsequently 
circumcized by the Soldan of Aden because he refused to renounce his faith. On 
hearing of the insult offered to the bishop the King of Abash attacked Aden and 
fully avenged himself by a severe defeat of the Saracens. 

464. Page 118, line 14 

flejhe, milkey and Rice, . . . 

Sesame is omitted, while both R. and J^ ^dd com. All the best texts also mention 
elephants, not bred in the country, giraffes (see Note 459), bears, leopards and lions, 
as well as a variety of other animals such as wild asses, cocks, hens, ostriches, 
parrots, and monkeys with faces like men. 

R. alone adds that Abyssinia is extremely rich in gold, and much frequented 
by merchants who obtain large profits. 

465. Page 118, line 16 

Adem . . . named the Sowdan 

In the previous chapter F. speaks correctly of the Souldan of Aden! This 
chapter is greatly abbreviated. The last four lines really belong to the chapter on 
the city of Esher, or Escier (Es-Shehr, 330 miles east of Aden) omitted by F. 
together with those on Dufar (Dhofar), Calatu or Kalayati (l^alhat), and Ormus 
or Curmos (Hormuz). These chapters will be found in full in Appendix II. No. 
31, pp. 321-5. 


F.'s abbreviation of the description of Aden has caused the interesting account 
of the over-land trade-route to Alexandria to be omitted. The texts have 
somewhat varying readings, due in all probability to subsequent editing as 
increased knowledge prompted. 

R. tells us that the merchants unlade their cargoes and put them on smaller 
vessels "with which they navigate a gulf of the sea for twenty days, more or less, 
according to the weather they experience. Having reached their port, they then 
load their goods upon the backs of camels, and transport them overland (thirty 
days' journey) to the river Nile, where they are again put into small vessels, called 
jerms, in which they are conveyed by the stream of that river to Kairo, and from 
thence, by an artificial canal, named Kalizene, at length to Alexandria." 

Mention is also made of the large trade in horses done at Aden, and of the great 
wealth of the Soldan arising from the duty thereon. 

The ^ text contains an interesting passage on the precautions taken to ensure 
as far as possible against loss of the more valuable part of the cargoes (pearls, 
precious stones, etc.) due to the numerous shipwrecks which are encountered in 
this region. Bags of skins are filled with the valuables as well as necessary food 
and clothing, and, after being joined together, are fastened to rafts. SeeB. p. 213 
note f. 


466. Page 119 

This chapter on Siberia, and half of the next, being much abbreviated, are 
included in full in the "Ormus" chapter of R. already referred to in the last 
note. See pp. 324, 325. 


467. Page 120, line 10 

for the Sunne Jhyneth not there, and is notfeene 

Only in R. do we get an intelligent account of the phenomena of the arctic 
circle. As Yule says, all other versions imply a belief in the perpetuity of the 
darkness. The following extract from R. makes this clear: 

" . . .during most of the winter months the sun is invisible, and the atmosphere 
is obscured to the same degree as that in which we find it just about the dawn of 
day, when we may be said to see and not to see . . . .The inhabitants of this region 
take advantage of the summer season, when they enjoy continual daylight, to 
catch vast multitudes of ermines, martens, arcolini, foxes and other animals of 
that kind, the furs of which are more delicate, and consequently more valuable, 
than those found in the districts inhabited by the Tartars, who, on that account, 
are induced to undertake the plundering expeditions that have been described. . . " 

AMP 17 



468. Page 121, line i 

the King of Tartaric of the Occident 

Fr. 1 1 16 reads: "un roi dou ponent qui est Tartars, que a a non Toctai." 
Toktai was a son of Mangku-Temur, and ascended the throne of Kipchak in 1291. 

We meet him again in some of the quasi-historical chapters (e.g. Chs. 69, 70 
and 71) reprinted in Appendix II. pp. 339-41. 

469. Page 121, line 2 

noble furres for apparell 

Here again F. does not enumerate them. "Car il ont gebellines assez et ennin 
et vair et ercolin et voupes en abondance," says fr. 11 16. R. also mentions the 
export of wax. 

470. Page 121, lines 3, 4 

fuchferuent colde, that the people canfcarce Hue 

At this point Z ^^ ^ most interesting and important passage of over 50 lines 
dealing with the intimate social customs of the Russians, necessitated chiefly on 
account of the intense cold. See B. pp. 233, 234. 

So Frampton's translation ends. There remains only the chapters dealing with 
Great Turkey, Kaidu, Abaga, Argon, Acomat, Baidu, Alau, Nogai and Toktai. 

All these will be found reprinted from Wright's edition of Marsden in Appendix 
II. No. 32, pp. 325-41. 



Although it is not within the scope of the present work to annotate the Travels 
of Nicolo de' Conti, I feel that it is impossible to reprint them at all without saying 
a few words on the great need for a new edition of what is undoubtedly the best 
account of Southern Asia by any European traveller of the fifteenth century. 

In the first place the present English translation by Frampton from the Castilian 
of Santaella seems to have escaped notice. Thus when J. Winter Jones translated 
the Latin version from Poggio's De Varietate Forturue libri quatuor for the Hakluyt 
Society in 1857, he imagined he was making the first English translation. Nor 
can I find any mention of Frampton's work in recent years. This is to be regretted, 
because a comparison of the present version with that of Jones at once shows the 
superiority of the former. The numerous misreadings in Jones are largely corrected 
in Frampton, and although many of the place-names are hopelessly corrupted by 
Poggio, the excellence of the translation as a whole is undeniable. The narrative 
of Conti is short, and I believe that this is why it has not attracted more notice 
than it has. As in the present case, owing to its brevity it has continually been 
included with other works. Its value as a kind of commentary to, and proof of 
the veracity of the wonders related in Marco Polo has constantly been recognized. 
Thus we find it in the Portuguese edition of 1502, and in the Dutch version of 
the Novus Orbis of 1664, etc. For a full account of all versions and translations 
of Conti, see Cordier, "Deux Voyageurs dans 1' Extreme-Orient au XV^ et 
XVI« Siecles," T'oung-pao, Vol. x. 1899, No. 4. 

Nicolo de' Conti started on his travels in 141 9, for on his return to Venice in 
1444 he tells us he has been absent 25 years. He passed through Damascus, 
Baghdad, Basra, and Hormuz to India, and on to Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, and 
the south of China. On his return journey he visited Burma, and ascended the 
Irrawaddy to Ava, and touching at Cochin, Calicut, Cambay, Socotra and Aden 
arrived at Jidda, the port of Mecca, whence he reached Cairo. At Mount Sinai 
he met the Spanish traveller Pero Tafur to whom he related many of his experiences. 
Among other things he told him how on his arrival in India he was taken to see 
Prester John who received him graciously and married him to a woman by whom 
he had several children. On reaching Mecca he was ordered to abjure his 
Faith or be killed. He chose the former course for the sake of his family.^ 
On his arrival in Venice in 1444 he sought absolution for his apostasy from 

^ An excellent and complete translation of Pero Tafur has recently been made by 
Malcolm Letts (Broadway Travellers Series, 1926). Conti's account of his travels appears 
on pp. 84-95. ■^ th^ translator states, a reference to the volume establishes the fact 
that Conti told Tafur much that he did not relate to Poggio. 


Eugenius IV. This was granted on condition that he would truthfully relate his 
travels to the papal secretary Poggio Bracciolini. This was accordingly done, 
being written by Poggio in Latin. Copies, if they existed at all, must have been 
very scarce, for Ramusio, after vainly attempting to find one, had to use a Portu- 
guese translation, which is of little value. It found its way later into Purchas. 
(See Vol. XI. p. "^g^etseq. of the MacLehose edition, 1906.) 

Frampton's translation has only one important omission, and that is with 
regard to the "sonalia," or little bells of gold, silver or copper worn on the members 
of the men to excite the women to lechery. The practice has been noted by many 
travellers^, yet in his recent edition of Duarte Barbosa, Longworth Dames doubts 
if the custom really existed, and suggest it to be "a mere figment of the imagination 
such as sailors picked up from the loose talk at seaports." There is no doubt 
whatever as to the existence of the custom, although the objects used vary^. See, 
for instance, the curious articles known as ampallang at the Wellcome Historical 
Medical Museum in London. The point of interest as raised by Briffault is whether 
they represented mere voluptuary ingenuity, or must be regarded as amulets 
used solely to guard the opening of the body against evil spirits. (See Briffault, 
op. cit. p. 280.) 

The latter portion of Conti's travels consists of an account of the manners and 
customs of the Indians given in direct answer to questions asked by Poggio himself. 

Thus we have the heading "Pogio" on p. 137 of the present edition. 

1 Linschoten, Voyage to the East Indies, Vol . i . p . 99 ; Mandelslo, 1 669 edit . p . 97 ; Barbosa, 
Dames' edit. 1921, Vol. 11. p. 154. See also Yule's note in his Mission to Ava, p. 208; 
F. Carletti, Viaggi da lui racontati in dodici ragionamenti, pp. 347 etseq.; V. Bellemo, / Viaggi 
di Nicolb De" Conti, Milano, 1883, pp. 132, 140; Briffault, TTie Mothers, Vol. m. p. 329. 

2 See O. Hovorka, Mitt. Anthrop. Gesell. in Wien, xxrv. Band, 1894, pp. 131-43; 
id. Vergleichende Volksmedizin, n. Band, 1909, pp. 179-84; and E. J, Dingwall, Male 
Infibulation, London, 1925, p. 53. 




1 he following more lengthy passages are, with but few exceptions, from 
Ramusio as translated by Marsden, 1818. 

The pagination of the revised edition of Marsden, edited by Thomas 
Wright for Bohn's Antiquarian Library' in 1854 (reprinted 1886, 1890, etc.) 
is also added. This is followed by references, in square brackets, to the 
chapter and page of Frampton's text where the particular passage fits in, 
together with the number and page of its corresponding Note in Appendix I. 

I. Ramusio I, Ch. vin. Marsden, pp. 66, 67. Wright, pp. 40, 41. 

[Framptcn, Ch. lo, p. 29; Appendix I. Note 78, p. 169.] 

Concerning the capture and death of the Khalif of Baldach 
(Mosta'sim Billah) 

The above-mentioned khalif, who is understood to have amassed greater treasures 
than had ever been possessed by any other sovereign, perished miserably under the 
following ciicumstances. At the period when the Tartar princes began to extend 
their dominion, there were amongst them four brothers, of whom the eldest, 
named Mangu, reigned in the royal seat of the family. Ha\dng subdued the 
countT)' of Cathay, and other districts in that quarter, they were not satisfied, but 
coveting further territory, they conceived the idea of universal erapire, and pro- 
posed that they should divide the world amongst them. With this object in view, 
it was agreed that one of them should proceed to the east, that another should 
make conquests in the south, and that the other tv/o should direct their operations 
against the remaining quarters. The southern portion fell to the lot of Ulau, who 
assembled a vast army, and having subdued the provinces through which his 
route lay, proceeded in the year 1255 to the attack of this city of Ealdarh. Being 
aware, however, of its great strength and the prodigious number of its inhabitants, 
he trusted rather to stratagem than to force for its reduction, and in order to 
deceive the enemy with regard to the number of his troops, which consisted of a 
hundred thousand horse, besides foot soldiers, he posted one division of his army 
on the one side, another division on the other side of the approach to the city, in 
such a manner as to be concealed by a wood, and placing himself a£ the head of 
the third, advanced boldly to vathin a short distance of the gate. The khalif made 
light of a force apparently so inconsiderable, and confident in the efficacy of the 
usual Mahometan ejaculation, thought of nothing less than its entire destruction, 


and for that purpose marched out of the city with his guards; but as soon as Ulau 
perceived his approach, he feigned to retreat before him, until by this means he 
had drawn him beyond the wood where the other divisions were posted. By the 
closing of these from both sides, the army of the khalif was surrounded and broken, 
himself was made prisoner, and the city surrendered to the conqueror. Upon 
entering it, Ulau discovered, to his great astonishment, a tower filled with gold. 
He called the khalif before him, and after reproaching him with his avarice, that 
prevented him from employing his treasures in the formation of an army for the 
defence of his capital against the powerful invasion with which it had long been 
threatened, gave orders for his being shut up in this same tower, without susten- 
ance; and there, in the midst of his wealth, he soon finished a miserable existence. 

2. Ramusio I, Chs. xv, xvi. Marsden^ pp. 95, 96; 100-102. Wright, 
Chs. XVI, XVII, pp. 63-68. 

[Frampton, Ch. i6, pp. 36, 37; Appendix I. Note 109, p. 175.] 

Of the City of Ormus (Hormuz), its hot wind, shipping, <2?c. 

During the summer season, the inhabitants do not remain in the city, on account 
of the excessive heat, which renders the air unwholesome, but retire to their 
gardens along the shore or on the banks of the rivers, where with a kind of ozier- 
work they construct huts over the water. These they enclose with stakes, driven in 
the water on the one side, and on the other upon the shore, making a covering of 
leaves to shelter them from the sun. Here they reside during the period in which 
there blows, every day, from about the hour of nine until noon, a land-wind so 
intensely hot as to impede respiration, and to occasion death by suffocating the 
person exposed to it. None can escape from its effects who are overtaken by it on 
the sandy plain. As soon as the approach of this wind is perceived by the inhabi- 
tants, they immerge themselves to the chin in water, and continue in that situation 
until it ceases to blow. In proof of the extraordinary degree of this heat, Marco 
Polo says that he happened to be in these parts when the following circumstance 
occurred. The ruler of Ormus having neglected to pay his tribute to the king of 
Kierman, the latter took the resolution of enforcing it at the season when the 
principal inhabitants reside out of the city, upon the main land, and for this 
purpose despatched a body of troops, consisting of sixteen hundred horse and five 
thousand foot, through the country of Reobarle, in order to seize them by surprise. 
In consequence, however, of their being misled by the guides, they failed to arrive 
at the place intended before the approach of night, and halted to take repose in 
a grove not far distant from Ormus; but upon recommencing their march in the 
morning, they were assailed by this hot wind, and were all suffocated; not one 
escaping to carry the fatal intelligence to his master. When the people of Ormus 


became acquainted with the event, and proceeded to bury the carcases, in order 
that their stench might not infect the air, they found them so baked by the intense- 
ness of the heat, that the limbs, upon being handled, separated from the trunks, 
and it became necessary to dig the graves close to the spot where the bodies lay. 
The vessels built at Ormus are of the worst kind, and dangerous for navigation, 
exposing the merchants and others who make use of them to great hazards. Their 
defects proceed from the circumstance of nails not being employed in the con- 
struction; the wood being of too hard a quality, and liable to split or to crack like 
earthenware. When an attempt is made to drive a nail, it rebounds, and is 
frequently broken. The planks are bored, as carefully as possible, with an iron 
auger, near the extremities; and wooden pins or trenails being driven into them, 
they are in this manner fastened (to the stem and stern) . After this they are bound, 
or rather sewed together, with a kind of rope-yam stripped from the husk of 
the Indian (cocoa) nuts, which are of a large size, and covered with a fibrous stuff 
like horse-hair. This being steeped in water until the softer parts putrefy, the 
threads or strings remain clean, and of these they make twine for sewing the 
planks, which lasts long under water. Pitch is not used for preserving the bottoms 
of vessels, but they are smeared with an oil made from the fat of fish, and then 
caulked with oakum. The vessel has no more than one mast, one helm, and one 
deck. When she has taken in her lading, it is covered over with hides, and upon 
these hides they place the horses which they carry to India. They have no iron 
anchors, but in their stead employ another kind of ground-tackle; the consequence 
of which is, that in bad weather, (and these seas are veiy tempestuous,) they are 
frequently driven on shore and lost. 

The inhabitants of the place are of a dark colour, and are Mahometans. They 
sow their wheat, rice, and other grain in the month of November, and reap their 
harvest in March. The fruits also they gather in that month, with the exception 
of the dates, which are collected in May. Of these, with other ingredients, they 
make a good kind of wine. When it is drunk, however, by persons not accustomed 
to the beverage, it occzisions an immediate flux; but upon their recovering from 
its first effects, it proves beneficial to them, and contributes to render them fat. 
The food of the natives is different from ours ; for were they to eat wheaten bread 
and flesh meat their health would be injured. They live chiefly upon dates and 
salted fish, such as the thunnus, cepole {cepola tania), and others which from ex- 
perience they know to be wholesome. Excepting in marshy places, the soil of this 
country is not covered with grass, in consequence of the extreme heat, which bums 
up everything. Upon the death of men of rank, their wives loudly bewail them, 
once in the course of each day, during four successive weeks [all the French MSS. 
read "years"] ; and there are also people to be found here who make such lamen- 
tations a profession, and are paid for uttering them over the corpses of persons to 
whom they are not related. 


3. Ramusio I, Chs. xvm-xxi. Marsden, pp. 105, 106; 107, 108; 109, no; 
112-114. Wright, Chs. xix-xxn, pp. 68-76. 

[Framplon, Ch. 17, p. 37; Appendix I. Note 112, p. 176.] 

Of Kobiam, Timochain, and of the Old Man of the 
Mountain {Kuh-Banan and Tun-and-Kain) 

Upon leaving Kierman and travelling three days, you reach the borders of a 
desert extending to the distance of seven days' journey, at the end of which you 
arrive at Kobiam [not mentioned till later in the French MSS.]. During the first 
three days (of these seven) but little water is to be met with, and that little is im- 
pregnated with salt, green as grass, and so nauseous that none can use it as drink. 
Should even a drop of it be swallowed, frequent calls of nature will be occasioned; 
and the effect is the same firom eating a grain of the salt made from this water. 
In consequence of this, persons who travel over the desert are obliged to carry 
a provision of water along with them. The cattle, however, are compelled by 
thirst to drink such as they find, and a flux immediately ensues. In the course of 
these three days not one habitation is to be seen. The whole is arid and desolate. 
Cattle are not found there, because there is no subsistence for them. On the 
fourth day you come to a river of fresh water, but which has its channel for the most part under 
ground. In some parts however there are abrupt openings, caused by the force of the current, 
through which the stream becomes visible for a short space, and water is to be had in abundance. 
Here the wearied traveller stops to refresh himself and his cattle after the fatigues of the pre- 
ceding journey [the passage in italics is unique to R.]. The circumstances of the latter 
three days resemble those of the former, and conduct him at length to the town of 
Kobiam. [The French texts mention that asses are found during these three days.] 

Kobiam is a large town, the inhabitants of which observe the law of Mahomet. 
They have plenty of iron, steel, and ondanique. Here they make mirrors of highly 
polished steel, of a large size and very handsome. Much antimony or zinc is found 
in the country, and they procure tutty which makes an excellent collyrium, to- 
gether with spodium, by the following process. They take the crude ore from a vein 
that is known to yield such as is fit for the purpose, and put it into a heated furnace. 
Over the furnace they place an iron grating formed of small bars set close together. 
The smoke or vapour ascending from the ore in burning attaches itself to the bars, 
and as it cools becomes hard. This is the tutty; whilst the gross and heavy part, 
which does not ascend, but remains as a cinder in the furnace, becomes the 
spodium. [For an article on kohl and collyrium, see my Ocean of Story, vol. i, 
pp. 211-18.] 

Leaving Kobiam you proceed over a desert of eight days' journey exp>osed to 
great drought ; neither fi-uits nor any kind of trees are met with, and what water 
is found has a bitter taste. Travellers are therefore obliged to carry with them so 


much as may be necessary for their sustenance. Their cattle are constrained by 
thirst to drink such as the desert affords, which their owners endeavour to render palatable 
to them by mixing it with flour [unique to R. and ^. At the end of eight days you 
reach the province of Timochain [Tonocain] situated towards the north, on the 
borders of Persia, in which are many towns and strong places. There is here an 
extensive plain remarkable for the production of a species of tree called the 
tree of the sun, and by Christians arbor secco, the dry or fruitless tree. Its 
nature and quahties are these: — It is lofty, with a large stem, having its leaves 
green on the upper surface, but white or glaucous on the under. It produces 
husks or capsules like those in which the chestnut is enclosed, but these contain 
no fruit. The wood is solid and strong, and of a yellow colour resembling the 
box. There is no other species of tree near it for the space of a hundred miles, 
excepting in one quarter, where trees are found within the distance of about ten 
miles. It is reported by the inhabitants of this district that a battle was fought 
there between Alexander, king of Macedonia, and Darius. The towns are well 
supplied with every necessary and convenience of life, the climate being temperate, 
and not subject to extremes either of heat or cold. The people are of the Mahometan 
religion. They are in general a handsome race, especially the women, who, in my 
opinion, are the most beautiful in the world. 

Having spoken of this country, mention shall now be made of the old man of 
the mountain. The district in which his residence lay obtained the name of 
Mulehet [fr. 1 1 16 has "Muleete"] signifying in the language of the Saracens, the 
place of heretics, and his people that of Mulehetites, or holders of heretical tenets ; 
as we apply the term of Patharini to certain heretics amongst Christians. The 
following account of this chief, Marco Polo testifies to having heard from sundry 
persons. He was named Alo-eddin, and his religion was that of Mahomet. In 
a beautiful valley enclosed between two lofty mountains, he had formed a luxuri- 
ous garden, stored with every delicious fruit and every fragrant shrub that could 
be procured. Palaces of various sizes and lorms were erected in different parts 
of the grounds, ornamented with works in gold, with paintings, and with furniture 
of rich silks. By means of small conduits contrived in these buildings, streams of 
wine, milk, honey, and some of pure water, were seen to flow in every direction. 
The inhabitants of these palaces were elegant and beautiful damsels, accomplished 
in the arts of singing, playing upon all sorts of musical instruments, dancing, and 
especially those of dalliance and amorous allurement. Clothed in rich dresses 
they were seen continually sporting and amusing themselves in the garden and 
pavilions, their female guardians being confined within doors and never suffered 
to appear. The object which the chief had in view in forming a garden of this 
fascinating kind, was this: that Mahomet having promised to those who should 
obey his will the enjoyments of Paradise, where every species of sensual gratification 
should be found, in the society of beautiful nymphs, he was desirous of its being 


understood by his followers that he also was a prophet and the compeer of 
Mahomet, and had the power of admitting to Paradise such as he should choose 
to favour. In order that none without his licence might find their way into this 
delicious valley ["except those whom he intended to be his Assassins," add the 
French MSS.], he caused a strong and inexpugnable castle to be erected at the 
opening of it, through which the entry was by a secret passage. At his court, like- 
wise, this chief entertained a number of youths, from the age of twelve to twenty 
years, selected from the inhabitants of the surrounding mountains, who showed 
a disposition for martial exercises, and appeared to possess the quality of daring 
courage. To them he was in the daily practice of discoursing on the subject of the 
paradise announced by the prophet, and of his own power of granting admission; 
and at certain times he caused opium to be administed to ten or a dozen of the 
youths; and when half dead with sleep he had- them conveyed to the several 
apartments of the palaces in the garden. Upon awakening from this state of 
lethargy, their senses were struck with all the delightful objects that have been 
described, and each perceived himself surrounded by loving damsels, singing, 
playing, and attracting his regards by the most fascinating caresses, serving him 
also with delicate viands and exquisite wines; until intoxicated with excess of 
enjoyment amidst actual rivulets of milk and wine, he believed himself assuredly 
in Paradise, and felt an unwillingness to relinquish its delights. When four or five 
days had thus been passed, they were thrown once more into a state of somnolency, 
and carried out of the garden. Upon their being introduced to his presence, and 
questioned by him as to where they had been, their answer was, "In Paradise, 
through the favour of your highness": and then before the whole court, who 
listened to them with eager curiosity and astonishment, they gave a circum- 
stantial account of the scenes to which they had been witnesses. The chief there- 
upon addressing them, said: "We have the assurances of our prophet that he who 
defends his lord shall inherit Paradise, and if you show yourselves devoted to the 
obedience of my orders, that happy lot awaits you." Animated to enthusiasm by 
words of this nature, all deemed themselves happy to receive the commands of 
their master, and were forward to die in his service. The consequence of this 
system was, that when any of the neighbouring princes, or others, gave umbrage to 
this chief, they were put to death by these his disciplined Assassins; none of whom 
felt terror at the risk of losing their own lives, which they held in little estimation, 
provided they could execute their master's will. On this account his tyranny 
became the subject of dread in all the surrounding countries. He had also con- 
stituted two deputies or representatives of himself, of whom one had his residence 
in the vicinity of Damascus, and the other in Kurdistan; and these pursued the 
plan he had established for training their young dependants. Thus there was no 
person, however powerful, who, having become exposed to the enmity of the old 
man of the mountain, could escape assassination. 


4. Ramusio I, Ch. xxv. Marsden, pp. 130, 131. Wright^ Gh. xxvi, 
pp. 84-86. 

[Frampton, Gh, 23, p. 40; Appendix I. Note 132, p. 179.J 

Of the province of Balashan (Badakhshan) 

The mines of silver^ copper, and lead, are likewise very productive. It is a cold country. 
The horses bred here are of a superior quality, and have great speed. Their hoofs 
are so hard that they do not require shoeing. The natives are in the practice of 
galloping them on declivities where other cattle could not or would not venture 
to run. They asserted that not long since there were still found in this province 
horses of the breed of Alexander's celebrated Bucephalus, which were all foaled 
with a particular mark in the forehead. The whole of the breed was in the posses- 
sion of one of the king's uncles, who, upon his refusal to yield them to his nephew, 
was put to death; whereupon his widow, exasperated at the murder, caused them 
all to be destroyed; and thus the race was lost to the world. In the mountains 
there are falcons of the species called saker {falco sacer), which are excellent birds, 
and of strong flight; as well as of that called laner, {falco lanarius). There are also 
goshawks of a perfect kind {falco astur, or palumbarius) , and sparrow-hawks {falco 
nisus). The people of the country are expert at the chase both of beasts and birds. 
Good wheat is grown there, and a species of barley without the husk. There is no 
oil of olives, but they express it from certain nuts, and from the grain called 
sesame, which resembles the seed of flax, excepting that it is light-coloured ; and 
the oil this yields is better, and has more flavour than any other. It is used by the 
Tartars and other inhabitants of these parts. 

In this kingdom there are many narrow defiles, and strong situations, which 
diminish the apprehension of any foreign power entering it with a hostile intention. 
The men are good archers and excellent sportsmen ; generally clothing themselves 
with the skins of wild animals ; other materials for the purpose being scarce. The 
mountains afford pasture for an innumerable quantity of sheep, which ramble 
about in flocks of four, five, and six hundred, all wild ; and although many are 
taken and killed, there does not appear to be any diminution. These mountains 
are exceedingly lofty, insomuch that it employs a man from morning till night to 
ascend to the top of them. Between them there are wide plains clothed with grass 
and with trees, and large streams of the purest water precipitating themselves 
through the fissures of the rocks. In these streams are trout and many other 
delicate sorts of fish. On the summits of the mountains the air is so pure and so 
salubrious, that when those who dwell in the towns, and in the plains and valleys 
below, find themselves attacked with fevers or other inflammatory complaints, 
they immediately remove thither, and remaining for three or four days in that 
situation, recover their health. Marco Polo affirms that he had experience in his 


own person of its excellent effects ; for having been confined by sickness, in this 
country, for nearly a year, he was advised to change the air by ascending the hills ; 
when he presently became convalescent. 

5. Ramusio II, Ghs. 11, m. Marsden, pp. 274, 276; 278, 279. Wright, 
pp. 167-171, 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 231, p. 198.] 

The reason of the Khan's not becoming a Christian — 
his various kinds of rewards 

The Grand Khan, having obtained this signal victory, returned with great pomp 
and triumph to the capital city of Kanbalu. This took place in the month of 
November, and he continued to reside there during the months of February and 
March, in which latter wzis our festival of Easter. Being aware that this was one 
of our principal solemnities, he commanded all the Christians to attend him, and 
to bring with them their Book, which contains the four Gospels of the Evangelists. 
After causing it to be repeatedly perfumed with incense, in a ceremonious manner, 
he devoutiy kissed it, and directed that the same should be done by all his nobles 
who were present. This was his usual practice upon each of the principal Christian 
festivals, such as Easter and Christmas ; and he observed the same at the festivals 
of the Saracens, Jews, and idolaters. Upon being asked his motive for this conduct, 
he said: "There are four great Prophets who are reverenced and worshipped by 
the different classes of mankind. The Christians regard Jesus Christ as their 
divinity; the Saracens, Mahomet; the Jews, Moses; and the idolaters, Sogomom- 
bar-kan, the most eminent amongst their idols. I do honour and show respect to 
all the four, and invoke to my aid whichever amongst them is in truth supreme in 
heaven." But from the manner in which his majesty acted towards them, it is 
evident that he regarded the faith of the Christians as the truest and the best; 
nothing, as he observed, being enjoined to its professors that was not replete with 
virtue and holiness. By no means, however, would he permit them to bear the 
cross before them in their processions, because upon it so exalted a personage as 
Christ had been scourged and (ignominiously) put to death. It may perhaps be 
asked by some, why, if he showed such a preference to the faith of Christ, he did 
not conform to it, and become a Christian? His reason for not so doing, he assigned 
to Nicolo and Maffio Polo, when, upon the occasion of his sending them as his 
ambassadors to the Pope, they ventured to address a few words to him on the 
subject of Christianity. "Wherefore," he said, "should I become a Christian? 
You yourselves must perceive that the Christians of these countries are ignorant, 
inefficient persons, who do not possess the faculty of performing anything (mi- 
raculous) ; whereas you see that the idolaters can do whatever they will. When 


I sit at table the cups that were in the middle of the hall come to me filled with 
wine and other beverage, spontaneously and without being touched by human 
hand, and I drink from them. They have the power of controlling bad weather 
and obliging it to retire to any quarter of the heavens, with many other wonderful 
gifts of that nature. You are witnesses that their idols have the faculty of speech, 
and predict to them whatever is required. Should I become a convert to the faith 
of Christ, and profess myself a Christian, the nobles of my court and other persons 
who do not incline to that religion will ask me what sufficient motives have caused 
me to receive baptism, and to embrace Christianity. ' What extraordinary powers,' 
they will say, ' what miracles have been displayed by its ministers ? Whereas the 
idolaters declare that what they exhibit is performed through their own sanctity, 
and the influence of their idols.' To this I shall not know what answer to make, 
and I shall be considered by them as labouring under a grievous error; whilst 
the idolaters, who by means of their profound art can effect such wonders, may 
without difficulty compass my death. But return you to your pontiff, and request 
of him, in my name, to send hither a hundred persons well skilled in your law, 
who being confronted with the idolaters shall have power to coerce them, and 
showing that they themselves are endowed with similar art, but which they refrain 
from exercising, because it is derived from the agency of evil spirits, shall compel 
them to desist from practices of such a nature in their presence. When I am 
witness of this, I shall place them and their religion under an interdict, and shall 
allow myself to be baptized. Following my example, all my nobihty will then 
in like manner receive baptism, and this will be imitated by my subjects in general; 
so that the Christians of these parts will exceed in number those who inhabit your 
own country." From this discourse it must be evident that if the Popfe had sent 
out persons duly qualified to preach the gospel, the Grand Khan would have 
embraced Christianity, for which, it is certainly known, he had a strong pre- 
dilection. But, to return to our subject, we shall now speak of the rewards and 
honours he bestows on such as distinguish themselves by their valour in battle. 

The Grand Khan appoints twelve of the most intelligent amongst his nobles, 
whose duty it is to make themselves acquainted with the conduct of the officers 
and men of his army, particularly upon expeditions and in battles, and to present 
their reports to him, and he, upon being apprised of their respective merits, 
advances them in his service, raising those who commanded an hundred men to 
the command of a thousand, and presenting many with vessels of silver, as well 
as the customary tablets or warrants of command and of government. The tablets 
given to those commanding a hundred men are of silver; to those commanding a 
thousand, of gold or of silver gilt; and those who command ten thousand receive 
tablets of gold, bearing the head of a lion ; the former being of the weight of a 
hundred and twenty saggi, and these with the lion's head, two hundred and twenty. 
At the top of the inscription on the tablet is a sentence to this effect: "By the power 


and might of the great God, and through the grace which he vouchsafes to our 
empire, be the name of the Kaan blessed; and let all such as disobey (what is 
herein directed) suffer death and be utterly destroyed." The officers who hold 
these tablets have privileges attached to them, and in the inscription is specified 
what are the duties and the powers of their respective commands. He who is at the 
head of a hundred thousand men, or the commander in chief of a grand army, has 
a golden tablet weighing three hundred saggi, with the sentence above mentioned, 
and at the bottom is engraved the figure of a lion, together with representations 
of the sun and moon. He exercises also the privileges of his high command, as set 
forth in this magnificent tablet. Whenever he rides in public, an umbrella is 
carried over his head, denoting the rank and authority he holds; and when he is 
seated, it is always upon a silver chair. The Grand Khan confers likewise upon 
certain of his nobles tablets on which are represented figures of the gerfalcon, in 
virtue of which they are authorised to take with them as their guard of honour the 
whole army of any great prince. They can also make use of the horses of the im- 
perial stud at their pleasure, and can appropriate the horses of any officers inferior 
to themselves in rank. 

6. Ramusio II, Ch. rv. Marsden, pp. 281-283. Wright, pp. 172-174. 

[Frampton, Ch. 54, p. 64; Appendix I. Note 233, p. 199.] 

Thither the Grand Khan sends his officers every second year, or oftener, as it 
may happen to be his pleasure, who collect for him, to the number of four or five 
hundred, or more, of the handsomest of the young women, according to the 
estimation of beauty communicated to them in their instructions. The mode of 
their appreciation is as follows. Upon the arrival of these commissioners, they give 
orders for assembling all the young women of the province, and appoint qualified 
persons to examine them, who, upon careful inspection of each of them separately, 
that is to say, of the hair, the countenance, the eyebrows, the mouth, the lips, and 
other features, as well as the symmetry of these with each other, estimate their 
value at sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, or twenty, or more carats, according to the 
greater or less degree of beauty. The number required by the Grand Khan, at the 
rates, perhaps, of twenty or twenty-one carats, to which their commission was 
limited, is then selected from the rest, and they are conveyed to his court. Upon 
their arrival in his presence, he causes a new examination to be made by a different 
set of inspectors, and from amongst them a further selection takes place, when 
thirty or forty are retained for his own chamber, at a higher valuation. These, in 
the. first instance, are committed separately to the care of the wives of certain of 
the nobles, whose duty it is to observe them attentively during the course of the 
night, in order to ascertain that they have not any concealed imperfections, that 
they sleep tranquilly, do not snore, have sweet breath, and are free from un- 


pleasant scent in any part of the body. Having undergone this rigorous scrutiny, 
they are divided into parties of five, one of which parties attends during three days 
and three nights, in His Majesty's interior apartment, where they are to perform 
every service that is required of them, and he does with them as he likes. When 
this term is completed, they are relieved by another party, and in this manner 
successively, until the whole number have taken their turn; when the first five 
recommence their attendance. But whilst the one party officiates in the inner 
chamber, another is stationed in the outer apartment adjoining; in order that if 
his majesty should have occasion for anything, such as drink or victuals, the former 
may signify his commands to the latter, by which the article required is immedi- 
ately procured : and thus the duty of waiting upon his majesty's person is exclusively 
performed by these young females. The remainder of them, whose value had been 
estimated at an inferior rate, are assigned to the different lords of the household; 
under whom they are instructed in cookery, in dressmaking, and other suitable 
works; and upon any person belonging to the court expressing an inclination to 
take a wife, the Grand Khan bestows upon him one of these damsels, with a hand- 
some portion. In this manner he provides for them all amongst his nobility. It 
may be asked whether the people of the province do not feel themselves aggrieved 
in having their daughters thus forcibly taken firom them by the sovereign? Cer- 
tainly not; but, on the contrary, they regard it as a favour and an honour done 
to them; and those who are the fathers of handsome children feel highly gratified 
by his condescending to make choice of their daughters. "If," say they, "my 
daughter is bom under an auspicious planet and to good fortune, His Majesty can 
best fulfil her destinies, by matching her nobly; which it would not be in my power 
to do." If, on the other hand, the daughter misconducts herself, or any mischance 
befalls her (by which she becomes disqualified), the father attributes the dis- 
appointment to the malign influence of her stars. 

7. Ramusio II, Ch. vn. Marsden, pp. 297-299. Wright, pp. 182-186. 

[Frampton, Ch. 55, p. 65; Appendix I. Note 234, p. 199.] 

Of the New City of Tai-du 

Some of the inhabitants, however, of whose loyalty he did not entertain suspicion, 
were suffered to remain, especially because the latter, although of the dimensions 
that shall presently be described, w£is not capable of containing the same number 
as the former, which was of vast extent. 

This new city is of a form perfectly square, and twenty-four miles in extent, 
each of its sides being neither more nor less than six miles. It is enclosed with 
walls of earth, that at the bsise are about ten paces thick, but gradually diminish 
to the top, where the thickness is not more than three paces. In all parts the 

AMP 18 


battlements are white. The whole plan of the city was regularly laid out by line, 
and the streets in general are consequently so straight, that when a person ascends 
the wall over one of the gates, and looks right forward, he can see the gate opposite 
to him on the other side of the city. In the public streets there are, on each side, 
booths and shops of every description. All the allotments of ground upon which 
the habitations throughout the city were constructed are square, and exactly on 
a line with each other; each allotment being sufficiendy spacious for handsome 
buildings, with corresponding courts and gardens. One of these was assigned to 
each head of a family; that is to say, such a person of such a tribe had one square 
allotted to him, and so of the rest. Afterwards the property passed fk"om hand to 
hand. In this manner the whole interior of the city is disposed in squares, so as 
to resemble a chess-board, and planned out with a degree of precision and beauty 
impossible to describe. The wall of the city has twelve gates, three on each side 
of the square, and over each gate and compartment of the wall there is a handsome 
building; so that on each side of the square there are five such buildings, containing 
large rooms, in which are disposed the arms of those who form the garrison of the 
city, every gate being guarded by a thousand men. It is not to be understood that 
such a force is stationed there in consequence of the apprehension of danger from 
any hostile power whatever, but as a guard suitable to the honour and dignity 
of the sovereign. Yet it must be allowed that the declaration of the astrologers has 
excited in his mind a degree of suspicion with regard to the Cathaians. In the 
centre of the city there is a great bell suspended in a lofty building, which is 
sounded every night, and after the third stroke no person dares to be found in the 
streets, unless upon some urgent occasion, such as to call assistance to a woman in 
labour, or a man attacked with sickness; and even in such necessary cases the 
person is required to carry a light. 

Withoutside of each of the gates is a suburb so wide that it reaches to and unites 
with those of the other nearest gates on both sides, and in length extends to the 
distance of three or four miles, so that the number of inhabitants in these suburbs 
exceeds that of the city itself. Within each suburb there are, at intervals, as far 
perhaps as a mile from the city, many hotels, or caravanserais, in which the 
merchants arriving from various parts take up their abode ; and to each description 
of people a separate building is assigned, as we should say, one to the Lombards, 
another to the Germans, and a third to the French. The number of public women 
who prostitute themselves for money, reckoning those in the new city as well as 
those in the suburbs of the old, is twenty-five thousand. To each hundred and to 
each thousand of these there are superintending officers appointed, who are under 
the orders of a captain-general. The motive for placing them under such com- 
mand is this: when ambassadors arrive charged with any business in which the 
interests of the Grand Khan are concerned, it is customary to maintain them at 
His Majesty's expense, and in order that they may be treated in the most honour- 


able manner, the captain is ordered to furnish nightly to each individual of the 
embassy one of these courtezans, who is likewise to be changed every night, for 
which service, as it is considered in the light of a tribute they owe to the sovereign, 
they do not receive any remuneration. Guards, in parties of thirty or forty, con- 
tinually patrol the streets during the course of the night, and make diligent search 
for persons who may be from their homes it an unseasonable hour, that is, after 
the third stroke of the great bell. When any are met with under such circumstances, 
they immediately apprehend and confine them, and take them in the morning for 
examination before officers appointed for that purpose, who, upon the proof of 
any delinquency, sentence them, acording to the nature of the offence, to a severer 
or lighter infliction of the bastinade, which sometimes, however, occasions their 
death. It is in this manner that crimes are usually punished amongst these people, 
fi"om a disinclination to the shedding of blood, which their baksis or learned 
astrologers instruct them to avoid. Having thus described the interior of the city 
of Tai-du, we shall now speak of the disposition to rebellion shown by its Gathaian 

8. Ramusio II, Ch. vm. Alarsden, pp. 309-313. Wright, pp. 187-192. 

[Omitted by Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 247, p. 202.] 

Of the Oppressions of Achmac (Ahmad) 

Particular mention will hereafter be made of the establishment of a council 
of twelve persons, who had the power of disposing, at their pleasure, of the lands, 
the governments, and everything belonging to the state. Amongst these was a 
Saracen, named Achmac, a crafty and bold man, whose influence with the Grand 
Khan surpassed that of the other members. To such a degree was his master in- 
fatuated with him that he indulged him in every liberty. It was discovered, indeed, 
after his death, that he had by means of spells so fascinated His Majesty as to obUge 
him to give ear and credit to whatever he represented, and by these means was 
enabled to act in all matters according to his own arbitrary will. He gave away 
all the governments and public offices, pronounced judgment upon all offenders, 
and when he was disposed to sacrifice any man to whom he bore ill-will, he had 
only to go to the emperor and say to him, "Such a person has committed an offence 
against Your Majesty', and is deserving of death," when the emperor was accus- 
tomed to reply, "Do as you judge best"; upon which he caused him to be im- 
mediately executed. So evident were the proofs of the authority he possessed, and 
of His Majesty's implicit faith in his representations, that none had the hardiness 
to contradict him in any matter; nor was there a person, however high in rank or 
office, who did not stand in awe of him. If any one was accused by him of capital 
crime, however anxious he might be to exculpate himself, he had not the means of 


276 Appendix ii 

refuting the charge, because he could not procure an advocate, none daring to 
oppose the will of Achmac. By these means he occasioned many to die unjustly. 
Besides this, there was no handsome female who became an object of his sensuality 
that he did not contrive to possess, taking her as a wife if she was unmarried, or 
otherwise compelling her to yield to his desires. When he obtained information 
of any man having a beautiful daughter, he despatched his emissaries to the father 
of the girl, with instructions to say to him: "What are your views with regard to 
this handsome daughter of yours? You cannot do better than give her in marriage 
to the Lord Deputy or Vicegerent" (that is, to Achmac, for so they termed him, 
as implying that he was His Majesty's representative). "We shall prevail upon him 
to appoint you to such a government or to such an office for three years." Thus 
tempted, he is prevailed upon to part with his child ; and the matter being so far 
arranged, Achmac repairs to the emperor and informs His Majesty that a certain 
government is vacant, or that the period for which it is held will expire on such a 
day, and recommends the father as a person well qualified to perform the duties. 
To this His Majesty gives his consent, and the appointment is immediately carried 
into effect. By such means as these, either from the ambition of holding high 
offices or the apprehension of his power, he obtained the sacrifice of all the most 
beautiful young women, either under the denomination of wives, or as the slaves 
of his pleasure. He had sons to the number of twenty-five, who held the highest 
offices of the state, and some of them, availing themselves of the authority of their 
father, formed adulterous connexions, and committed many other unlawful and 
atrocious acts. Achmac had likewise accumulated great wealth, for every person 
who obtained an appointment found it necessary to make him a considerable 

During a period of twenty-two years he exercised this uncontrolled sway. At 
length the natives of the country, that is, the Cathaians, no longer able to endure 
his multiplied acts of injustice or the flagrant wickedness committed against their 
families, held meetings in order to devise means of putting him to death and raising 
a rebellion against the government. Amongst the persons principally concerned 
in this plot was a Cathaian, named Chen-ku, a chief of six thousand men, who, 
burning with resentment on account of the violation of his mother, his wife, and 
his daughter, proposed the measure to one of his countrymen, named Van-ku, 
who was at the head of ten thousand men, and recommended its being carried 
into execution at the time when the Grand Khan, having completed his three 
months' residence in Kanbalu, had departed for his palace of Shan-du, and when 
his son Chingis also had retired to the place he was accustomed to visit at that 
season ; because the charge of the city was then entrusted to Achmac, who com- 
municated to his master v/hatever matters occurred during his absence, and re- 
ceived in return the signification of his pleasure. Van-ku and Chen-ku, having 
held this consultation together, imparted their designs to some of the leading 


persons of the Cathaians, and through them to their friends in many other cities. 
It was accordingly determined amongst them that, on a certain day, immediately 
upon their perceiving the signal of a fire, they should rise and put to death all 
those who wore beards ; and should extend the signal to other places, in order that 
the same might be carried into effect throughout the country. The meaning of 
the distinction with regard to beards was this; that whereas the Cathaians them- 
selves are naturally beardless, the Tartars, the Saracens, and the Christians wear 
beards. It should be understood that the Grand Khan not having obtained the 
sovereignty of Cathay by any legal right, but only by force of arms, had no con- 
fidence in the inhabitants, and therefore bestowed all the provincial governments 
and magistracies upon Tartars, Saracens, Christians, and other foreigners, who 
belonged to his household, and in whom he could trust. In consequence of this, 
his government was universally hated by the natives, who found themselves treated 
as slaves by these Tartars, and still worse by the Saracens. 

Their plans being thus arranged, Van-ku and Chen-ku contrived to enter the 
palace at night, where the former, taking his place on one of the royal seats, caused 
the apartment to be lighted up, and sent a messenger to Achmac, who resided in 
the old city, requiring his immediate attendance upon Chingis, the emperor's son, 
who (he should say) had unexpectedly arrived that night. Achmac was much 
astonished at the intelligence, but, being gready in awe of the prince, instantly 
obeyed. Upon passing the gate of the (new) city, he met a Tartar officer named 
Kogatai, the commandant of the guard of twelve thousand men, who asked him 
whither he was going at that late hour. He replied that he was proceeding to wait 
upon Chingis, of whose arrival he had just heard. "How is it possible," said the 
officer, "that he can have arrived in so secret a manner, that I should not have 
been aware of his approach in time to order a party of his guards to attend him?" 
In the meanwhile the two Cathaians felt assured that if they could but succeed 
in despatching Achmac they had nothing further to apprehend. Upon his entering 
the palace and seeing so many lights burning, he made his prostrations before 
Van-ku, supposing him to be the prince, when Chen-ku, who stood there provided 
with a sword, severed his head from his body. Kogatai had stopped at the door, 
but upon observing what had taken place, exclaimed that there was treason going 
forward, and instantly let fly an arrow at Van-ku as he sat upon the throne, which 
slew him. He then called to his men, who seized Chen-ku, and despatched an 
order into the city, that every person found out of doors should be put to death. 
The Cathaians perceiving, however, that the Tartars had discovered the con- 
spiracy, and being deprived of their leaders, one of whom was killed and the other 
a prisoner, kept within their houses, and were unable to make the signals to the 
other towns, as had been concerted. Kogatai immediately sent messengers to the 
Grand Khan, with a circumstantial relation of all that had passed, who, in retxim, 
directed him to make a diligent investigation of the treason, and to punish, 


according to the degree of their guilt, those whom he should find to have been con- 
cerned. On the following day, Kogatai examined all the Cathaians, and upon such 
as were principals in the conspiracy he inflicted capital punishment. The same was 
done with respect to the other cities that were known to have participated in the guilt. 
When the Grand Khan returned to Kanbalu, he was desirous of knowing the 
causes of what had happened, and then learned that the infamous Achmac and 
seven of his sons (for all were not equally culpable) had committed those enormities 
which have been described. He gave orders for removing the treasure which had 
been accumulated by the deceased to an incredible amount, from the place of his 
residence in the old city to the new, where it was deposited in his own treasury. 
He likewise directed that his body should be taken from the tomb, and thrown into 
the street to be torn to pieces by the dogs. The sons who had followed the steps of 
their father in his iniquities he caused to be flayed alive. Reflecting also upon the 
principles of the accursed sect of the Saracens, which indulge them in the com- 
mission of every crime, and allow them to murder those who differ from them on 
points of faith, so that even the nefarious Achmac and his sons might have supposed 
themselves guiltless, he held them in contempt and abomination. Summoning, 
therefore, these people to his presence, he forbade them to continue many practices 
enjoined to them by their law, commanding that in future their marriages should 
be regulated by the custom of the Tartars, and that instead of the mode of killing 
animals for food, by cutting their throats, they should be obliged to open the belly. 
At the time that these events took place Marco Polo was on the spot. 

9. Ramusio II, Chs. xx-xxvi. Marsden, pp. 362-366; 370-378; 381, 382. 
Wright, pp. 221-237. 

[Omitted by Frampton, save for the few lines that constitute Ch. 62. See Appendix I. Note 251, 
p. 203.] 

Owing to the number of chapters omitted by Frampton at this point, the 
Ramusian chapter-headings are given consecutively: 


Of the places established on all the great roads for supplying post- 
horses — of the couriers on foot — and of the mode in 
which the expense is defrayed 

From the city of Kanbalu there are many roads leading to the different provinces, 
and upon each of these, that is to say, upon every great high road, at the distance 
of twenty-five or thirty miles, accordingly as the towns happen to be situated, there 
are stations, with houses of accommodation for travellers, called yamb or post- 


houses. These are large and handsome buildings, having several well-fumished 
apartments, hung with silk, and provided with everything suitable to persons of 
rank. Even kings may be lodged at these stations in a becoming manner, as every 
article required may be obtained from the towns and strong places in the vicinity; 
and for some of them the court makes regular provision. At each station four 
hundred good horses are kept in constant readiness, in order that all messengers 
going and coming upon the business of the Grand Khan, and all ambassadors, 
may have relays, and, leaving their jaded horses, be supplied with fresh ones. 
Even in mountainous districts, remote from the great roads, where there were no 
villages, and the towns are far distant from each other, His Majesty has equally 
caused buildings of the same kind to be erected, furnished with everything necessary, 
and provided with the usual establishment of horses. He sends people to dwell 
upon the spot, in order to cultivate the land, and attend to the service of the post; 
by which means large villages are formed. In consequence of these regulations, 
ambassadors to the court, and the royal messengers, go and return through every 
province and kingdom of the empire with the greatest convenience and facility; 
in all which the Grand Khan exhibits a superiority over every other emperor, 
king, or human being. In his dominions no fewer than two hundred thousand 
horses are thus employed in the department of the post, and ten thousand buildings, 
with suitable furniture, are kept up. It is indeed so wonderful a system, and so 
effective in its operation, as it is scarcely possible to describe. If it be questioned 
how the population of the country can supply sufficient numbers for these duties, 
and by what means they can be victualled, we may answer, that all the idolaters, 
and likewise the Saracens, keep six, eight, or ten women, according to their 
circumstances, by whom they have a prodigious number of children; some of them 
as many as thirty sons capable of following their fathers in arms ; whereas with us 
a man has only one wife, and even although she should prove barren, he is obliged 
to pass his life with her, and is by that means deprived of the chance of raising a 
family. Hence it is that our population is so much inferior to theirs. With regard 
to food, there is no deficiency of it, for these people, especially the Tartars, Catha- 
ians, and inhabitants of the province of Manji (or Southern China), subsist, for 
the most part, upon rice, panicum, and millet; which three grains yield, in their 
soil, an hundred measures for one. Wheat, indeed, does not yield a similar increase, 
and bread not being in use with them, it is eaten only in the form of vermicelli 
or of pastry. The former grains they boil in milk or stew with their meat. With 
them no spot of earth is suffered to lie idle, that can possibly be cultivated ; and 
their cattle of different kinds multiply exceedingly, insomuch that when they take 
the field, there is scarcely an individual that does not carry with him six, eight, 
or more horses, for his own personal use. From all this may be seen the causes of 
so large a population, and the circumstances that enable them to provide so 
abundandy for their subsistence. 


In the intermediate space between the post-houses, there are small villages 
settled at the distance of every three miles, which may contain, one with another, 
about forty cottages. In these are stationed the foot-messengers, likewise employed 
in the service of His Majesty. They wear girdles round their waists, to which several 
small bells are attached, in order that their coming may be perceived at a distance; 
and as they run only three miles, that is, from one of these foot-stations to another 
next adjoining, the noise serves to give notice of their approach, and preparation 
is accordingly made by a fresh courier to proceed with the packet instandy upon 
the arrival of the former. Thus it is so expeditiously conveyed from station to 
station, that in the course of two days and two nights His Majesty receives distant 
intelligence that in the ordinary mode could not be obtained in less than ten days; 
and it often happens that in the fruit season, what is gathered in the morning at 
Kanbalu (Cambaluc) is conveyed to the Grand Khan, at Shan-du (Chandu), by 
the evening of the following day; although the distance is generally considered as 
ten days' journey. At each of these three-mile stations there is a clerk, whose 
business it is to note the day and hour at which the one courier arrives and the 
other departs; which is likewise done at all the post-houses. Besides this, officers 
are directed to pay monthly visits to every station, in order to examine into the 
management of them, and to punish those couriers who have neglected to use 
proper diligence. All these couriers are not only exempt from the (capitation) tax, 
but also receive from His Majesty good allowances. The horses employed in this 
service are not attended with any (direct) expense; the cities, towns, and villages 
in the neighbourhood being obliged to furnish, and also to maintain them. By His 
Majesty's command the governors of the cities cause examination to be made by 
well informed persons, as to the number of horses the inhabitants, individually, 
are capable of supplying. The same is done with respect to the towns and villages; 
and according to their means the requisition is enforced; those on each side of 
the station contributing their due proportion. The charge of the maintenance of 
the horses is afterwards deducted by the cities out of the revenue payable to the 
Grand Khan; inasmuch as the sum for which each inhabitant would be liable is 
commuted for an equivalent of horses or share of horses, which he maintains at 
the nearest adjoining station. 

It must be understood, however, that of the four hundred horses the whole are 
not constantly on service at the station, but only two hundred, which are kept there 
for the space of a month, during which period the other half are at pasture; and 
at the beginning of the month, these in their turn take the duty, whilst the former 
have time to recover their flesh; each alternately relieving the other. Where it 
happens that there is a river or a lake which the couriers on foot, or the horsemen, 
are under the necessity of passing, the neighbouring cities are obliged to keep 
three or four boats in continual readiness for that purpose; and where there is 
a desert of several days' journey, that does not admit of any habitation, the cit)' 


on its borders is obliged to furnish horses to such persons as ambassadors to and 
from the court, that they may be enabled to pass the desert, and also to supply 
provisions to them and their suite; but cities so circumstanced have a remuneration 
from His Majesty. Where the post stations lie at a distance from the great road, 
the horses are partly those of his majesty, and are only in part ftimished by the 
cities and towns of the district. 

When it is necessary that the messengers should proceed with extraordinary 
despatch, as in the cases of giving information of disturbance in any part of the 
country, the rebellion of a chief, or other important matter, they ride two hundred, 
or sometimes two hundred and fifty miles in the course of a day. On such occa- 
sions they carry with them the tablet of the gerfalcon as a signal of the urgency of 
their business and the necessity for despatch. And when there are two messengers, 
they take their departure together from the same place, mounted upon good fleet 
horses ; and they gird their bodies tight, bind a cloth round their heads, and push 
their horses to the greatest speed. They continue thus till they come to the next 
post-house, at twenty-five miles distant, where they find two other horses, fresh 
and in a state for work; they spring upon them without taking any repose, and 
changing in the same manner at every stage, until the day closes, they perform 
a journey of two hundred and fifty miles. In cases of great emergency they con- 
tinue their course during the night, and if there should be no moon, they are 
accompanied to the next station by persons on foot, who run before them with lights ; 
when of course they do not make the same expedition as in the day-time, the light- 
bearers not being able to exceed a certain pace. Messengers qualified to undergo 
this extraordinary degree of fatigue are held in high estimation. Now we will leave 
this subject, and I will tell you of a great act of benevolence which the Grand Khan 
performs twice a-year. 


Of the relief afforded by the Grand Khan to all the provinces 
of his empire, in times of dearth or mortality of cattle 

The Grand Khan sends every year his commissioners to ascertain whether any 
of his subjects have suffered in their crops of com from unfavourable weather, 
from storms of wind or violent rains, or by locusts, worms, or any other plague; 
and in such cases he not only refi*ains from exacting the usual tribute of that year, 
but furnishes them from his granaries with so much corn as is necessary for their 
subsistence, as well as for sowing their land. With this view, in times of great 
plenty, he causes large purchases to be made of such kinds of grain as are most 
serviceable to them, which is stored in granaries provided for the purpose in the 
several provinces, and managed with such care as to ensure its keeping for three 
or four years without damage. It is his command, that these granaries be always 
kept full, in order to provide against times of scarcity; and when, in such seasons. 


he disposes of the grain for money, he requires for four measures no more than the 
purchaser would pay for one measure in the market. In like manner where there 
has been a mortality of cattle in any district, he makes good the loss to the sufferers 
from those belonging to himself, which he has received as his tenth of produce in 
other provinces. All his thoughts, indeed, are directed to the important object 
of assisting the people whom he governs, that they may be enabled to live by their 
labour and improve their substance. We must not omit to notice a peculiarity of 
the Grand Khan, that where an accident has happened by lightning to any herd 
of cattle, flock of sheep, or other domestic animals, whether the property of one 
or more persons, and however large the herd may be, he does not demand the 
tenth of the increase of such cattle during three years ; and so also if a ship laden 
with merchandise has been struck by lightning, he does not collect from her any 
custom or share of her cargo, considering the accident as an ill omen. God, he 
says, has shown himself to be displeased with the owner of the goods, and he is 
unwilling that property bearing the mark of divine wrath should enter his treasury. 


Of the trees which he causes to be planted at the sides of 
the roads, and of the order in which they are kept 

There is another regulation adopted by the Grand Khan, equally ornamental 
and useful. At both sides of the public roads he causes trees to be planted, of a kind 
that become large and tall, and being only two paces asunder, they serve (besides 
the advantage of their shade in summer) to point out the road (when the ground 
is covered with snow) ; which is of great assistance and affords much comfort to 
travellers. This is done along all the high roads, where the nature of the soil admits 
of plantation; but when the way lies through sandy deserts or over rocky mountains, 
where it is impossible to have trees, he orders stones to be placed and columns to 
be erected, as marks for guidance. He also appoints officers of rank, whose duty 
it is to see that all these are properly arranged and the roads constantly kept in 
good order. Besides the motives that have been assigned for these plantations, it 
may be added that the Grand Khan is the more disposed to make them, from the 
circumstance of his diviners and astrologers having declared that those who plant 
trees are rewarded with long life. 


Of the kind of wine made in the province of Cathay — and of the 
stones used there for burning in the manner of charcoal 

The greater part of the inhabitants of the province of Cathay drink a sort of 
wine made from rice mixed with a variety of spices and drugs. This beverage, or 
wine as it may be termed, is so good and well flavoured that they do not wish for 


better. It is clear, bright, and pleasant to the taste, and being (made) very hot, 
has the quality of inebriating sooner than any other. 

Throughout this province there is found a sort of black stone, which they dig 
out of the mountains, where it runs in veins. When lighted, it bums like charcoal, 
and retains the fire much better than wood; insomuch that it may be preserved 
during the night, and in the morning be found still burning. These stones do not 
flame, excepting a little when first lighted, but during their ignition give out a 
considerable heat. It is true there is no scarcity of wood in the country, but the 
multitude of inhabitants is so immense, and their stoves and baths, which they are 
continually heating, so numerous, that the quantity could not supply the demand; 
for there is no person who does not frequent the warm bath at least three times in 
the week, and during the winter daily, if it is in their power. Every man of rank 
or wealth has one in his house for his own use; and the stock of wood must soon 
prove inadequate to such consumption; whereas these stones may be had in the 
greatest abundance, and at a cheap rate. 


Of the great and admirable liberality exercised by the Grand 

Khan towards the poor of Kanbalu, and other persons 

who apply for relief at his court 

It has been already stated that the Grand Khan distributes large quantities of 
grain to his subjects (in the provinces) . We shall now speak of his great charity 
to and provident care of the poor in the city of Kanbalu. Upon his being apprised 
of any respectable family, that had lived in easy circumstances, being by mis- 
fortunes reduced to poverty, or who, in consequence of infirmities, are unable to 
work for their living or to raise a supply of any kind of grain : to a family in that 
situation he gives what is necessary for their year's consumption, and at the 
customary period they present themselves before the officers who manage the 
department of His Majesty's expenses and who reside in a palace where that 
business is transacted, to whom they deliver a statement in writing of the quantity 
furnished to them in the preceding year, according to which they receive also for 
the present. He provides in like manner for their clothing, which he has the means 
of doing from his tenths of wool, silk, and hemp. These materials he has woven 
into the different sorts of cloth, in a house erected for that purpose, where every 
artisan is obliged to work one day in the week for his majesty's service. Garments 
made of the stuffs thus manufactured he orders to be given to the poor families 
above described, as they are wanted for their winter and their summer dresses. 
He also has clothing prepared for his armies, and in every city has a quantity of 
woollen cloth wo\'en, which is paid for from the amount of the tenths levied at 
the place. 


It should be known that the Tartars, when they followed their original customs, 
and had not yet adopted the religion of the idolaters, were not in the practice of 
bestowing alms, and when a necessitous man applied to them, they drove him 
away with injurious expressions, saying, "Begone with your complaint of a bad 
season which God has sent you ; had he loved you, as it appears he loves me, you 
would have prospered as I do." But since the wise men of the idolaters, and 
especially the baksis, already mentioned, have represented to His Majesty that 
providing for the poor is a good work and highly acceptable to their deities, he 
has reheved their wants in the manner stated, and at his court none are denied 
food who come to ask it. Not a day passes in which there are not distributed, by 
the regular officers, twenty thousand vessels of rice, millet, and pamcum. By 
reason of this admirable and astonishing liberahty which the Grand Khan 
exercises towards the poor, the people all adore him as a divinity. 


Of the astrologers of the city of Kanbalu 

There are in the city of Kanbalu, amongst Christians, Saracens, and Cathaians, 
about five thousand astrologers and prognosticators, for whose food and clothing 
the Grand Khan provides in the same manner as he does for the poor families 
above mentioned, and who are in the constant exercise of their art. They have 
their astrolabes, upon which are described the planetary signs, the hours (at which 
they pass the meridian), and their several aspects for the whole year. The as- 
trologers (or almanac-makers) of each distinct sect annually proceed to the 
examination of their respective tables, in order to ascertain from thence the course 
of the heavenly bodies, and their relative positions for every lunation. They dis- 
cover therein what the state of the weather shall be, from the paths and con- 
figurations of the planets in the different signs, and thence foretell the peculiar 
phenomena of each month : that in such a month, for instance, there shall be 
thunder and storms; in such another, earthquakes; in another, strokes of lightning 
and violent rains; in another, diseases, mortality, wars, discords, conspiracies. As 
they find the matter in their astrolabes, so they declare it will come to pass ; adding, 
however, that God, according to his good pleasure, may do more or less than they 
have set down. They write their predictions for the year upon certain small squares, 
which are called takuini, and these they sell, for a groat apiece, to all persons who 
are desirous of peeping into futurity. Those whose predictions are found to be 
the more generally correct are esteemed the most perfect masters of their art, and 
are consequently the most honoured. When any person forms the design of 
executing some great work, of performing a distant journey in the way of com- 
merce, or of commencing any other undertaking, and is desirous of knowing what 
success may be hkely to attend it, he has recourse to one of these astrologers, and. 


informing him that he is about to proceed on such an expedition, inquires in what 
disposition the heavens appear to be at the time. The latter thereupon tells him, 
that before he can answer, it is necessary he should be informed of the year, the 
month, and the hour in which he was bom; and that, having learned these 
particulars, he will then proceed to ascertain in what respects the constellation 
that was in the ascendant at his nativity corresponds with the aspect of the celestial 
bodies at the time of making the inquiry. Upon this comparison he grounds his 
prediction of the favourable or unfavourable termination of the adventure. 

It should be observed that the Tartars compute their time by a cycle of twelve 
years ; to the first of which they give the name of the lion ; to the second year, that of the 
ox ; to the third, the dragon ; to the fourth, the dog ; and so of the rest, until the whole 
of the twelve have clasped. When a person, therefore, is asked in what year he was 
bom, he replies. In the course of the year of the hon, upon such a day, at such an hour 
and minute; all of which has been carefully noted by his parents in a book. Upon the 
completion of the twelve years of the cycle, they return to the first, and continually 
repeat the same series. 


Of the religion of the Tartars — of the opinions they hold 
respecting the soul — and of some of their customs 

As has already been observed, these people are idolaters, and for deities, each 
person has a tablet fixed up against a high part of the wall of his chamber, upon 
which is written a name, that serves to denote the high, celestial, and sublime 
God ; and to this they pay daily adoration, with incense burning. Lifting up their 
hands and then striking their faces against the floor three times, they implore from 
him the blessings of sound intellect and health of body; without any further peti- 
tion. Below this, on the floor, th?y have a statue which they name Natigai, which 
they consider as the God of all terrestrial things, or whatever is produced from the 
earth. They give him a wife and children, and worship him in a similar manner, 
burning incense, raising their hands, and bending to the floor. To him they pray 
for seasonable weather, abundant crops, increase of family, and the like. They 
believe the soul to be immortal, in this sense, that immediately upon the death 
of a man, it enters into another body, and that accordingly as he has acted virtu- 
ously or wickedly during his life, his future state will become, progressively, better 
or worse. If he be a poor man, and has conducted himself worthily and decently, 
he will be re-born, in the first instance, from the womb of a gentlewoman, and 
become, himself, a gendeman; next, from the womb of a lady of rank, and become 
a nobleman; thus continually ascending in the scale of existence until he be united 
to the divinity. But if, on the contrary, being the son of a gentleman, he has 
behaved unworthily, he will, in his next state, be a clown, at length a dog, con- 
tinually descending to a condition more vile than the preceding. 


Their style of conversation is courteous ; they salute each other politely, with 
countenances expressive of satisfaction, have an air of good breeding, and eat 
their victuals with particular cleanliness. To their parents they show the utmost 
reverence; but should it happen that a child acts disrespectfully to or neglects to 
assist his parents in their necessity, there is a public tribunal, whose especial duty 
it is to punish with severity the crime of filial ingratitude, when the circumstance 
is known. Malefactors guilty of various crimes, who are apprehended and thrown 
into prison, are executed by strangling; but such as remain till the expiration of 
three years, being the time appointed by His Majesty for a general gaol delivery, 
and are then liberated, have a mark imprinted upon one of their cheeks, that they 
may be recognised. 

The present Grand Khan has prohibited all species of gambling and other modes 
of cheating, to which the people of this country are addicted more than any others 
upon earth ; and as an argument for deterring them from the practice, he says to 
them (in his edict), "I subdued you by the power of my sword, and consequently 
whatever you possess belongs of right to me : if you gamble, therefore, you are 
sporting with my property." He does not, however, take anything arbitrarily 
in virtue of this right. The order and regularity observed by all ranks of people, 
when they present themselves before His Majesty, ought not to pass unnoticed. 
When they approach within half a mile of the place where he happens to be, they 
show their respect for his exalted character by assuming a humble, placid, and 
quiet demeanour, insomuch that not the least noise, nor the voice of any person 
calling out, or even speaking aloud, is heard. Every man of rank carries with him 
a small vessel, into which he spits, so long as he continues in the hall of audience, 
no one daring to spit on the floor; and this being done, he replaces the cover, and 
makes a salutation. They are accustomed likewise to take with them handsome 
buskins made of white leather, and when they reach the coiu-t, but before they 
enter the hall (for which they wait a summons from the Grand Khan), they put 
on these white buskins, and give those in which they had walked to the care of the 
servants. This practice is observed that they may not soil the beautiful carpets, 
which are curiously wrought with silk and gold, and exhibit a variety of colours. 

10. Ramusio II, Ch.-xxxvm. Alarsden, -pp. 420, 4.21. Wright, pp. 2^^,260, 

[Frampton, Ch. 77, p. 81 ; Appendix I. Note 291, p. 213.] 

Of the Province of Kain-du (the Kien-ch'ang valley) 

The money or currency they make use of is thus prepared. Their gold is formed 
into small rods, and (being cut into certain lengths) passes according to its weight, 
without any stamp. This is their greater money: the smaller is of the following 


description. In this countiy there are salt-springs, from which they manufacture 
salt by boiling it in small pans. When the water has boiled for an hour, it becomes 
a kind of paste, which is formed into cakes of the value of twopence each. These, 
which are flat on the lower, and convex on the upper side, are placed upon hot 
tiles, near a fire, in order to dry and harden. On this latter species of money the 
stamp of His Majesty is impressed, and it cannot be prepared by any other than 
his own officers. Eighty of the cakes are made to pass for a saggio of gold. But 
when these are carried by the traders amongst the inhabitants of the mountains 
and other parts little frequented, they obtain a saggio of gold for sixty, fifty, or 
even forty of the salt-cakes, in proportion as they find the natives less civilised, 
further removed from the towns, and more accustomed to remain on the same 
spot; inasmuch as people so circumstanced cannot always have a vend for their 
gold, musk, and other commodities. And yet even at this rate it answers well to 
them who collect the gold-dust from the beds of the rivers, as has been mentioned. 
The same merchants travel in like manner through the mountainous and other 
parts of the province of Tebeth, last spoken of, where the money of salt has equal 
currency. Their profits are considerable, because these country people consume 
the salt with their food, and regard it as an indispensable necessary; whereas the 
inhabitants of the cities use for the same purpose only the broken fragments of the 
cakes, putting the whole cakes into circulation as money. Here also the animals, 
which yield the musk, are taken in great numbers, and the article is proportionably 
abundant. Many fish, of good kinds, are caught in the lake. In the country are 
found tigers, bears, deer, stags, and antelopes. There are numerous birds also, of 
various sorts. The wine is not made from grapes, but from wheat and rice, with 
a mixture of spices, which is an excellent beverage. 

This province likewise produces cloves. The tree is small; the branches and 
leaves resemble those of the laurel, but are somewhat longer and narrower. Its 
flowers are white and small, as are the cloves themselves, but as they ripen they 
become dark-coloured. Ginger grows there and also cassia in abundance, besides 
many other drugs, of which no quantit}'^ is ever brought to Europe. 

II. Ramusio 11, Ch. XTu. Afar^^^w, pp. 429-431. Wright, pp. 26^-26'j. 

[Frampton, Ch. 8i, p. 82; Appendix I. Note 305, p. 216.] 

Of the province named Karazan (Ta-lifu) 

Here are seen huge serpents, ten paces in length, and ten spans in the girt of the 
body. At the fore-part, near the head, they have two short legs, having three 
claws like those of a tiger, with eyes larger than a fourpenny loaf [pane da quattro 
denari) and very glaring. The jaws are wide enough to swallow a man, the teeth 
are large and sharp, and their whole appearance is so formidable, that neither 


man, nor any kind of animal, can approach them without terror. Others are met 
with of a smaller size, being eight, six, or five paces long; and the following method 
is used for taking them. In the day-time, by reason of the great heat, they lurk 
in caverns, from whence, at night, they issue to seek their food, and whatever 
beast they meet with and can lay hold of, whether tiger, wolf, or any other, they 
devour; after which they drag themselves towards some lake, spring of water, or 
river, in order to drink. By their motion in this way along the shore, and their vast 
weight, they make a deep impression, as if a heavy beam had been drawn along 
the sands. Those whose employment it is to hunt them observe the track by which 
they are most frequendy accustomed to go, and fix into the ground several pieces 
of wood, armed with sharp iron spikes, which they cover with the sand in such 
a manner as not to be perceptible. When therefore the animals make their way 
towards the places they usually haunt, they are wounded by these instruments, 
and speedily killed. The crows, as soon as they perceive them to be dead, set up 
their scream; and this serves as a signal to the hunters, who advance to the spot, 
and proceed to separate the skin firom the flesh, taking care immediately to secure 
the gall, which is most highly esteemed in medicine. In cases of the bite of a mad 
dog, a pennyweight of it, dissolved in wine, is administered. It is also usefiil in 
accelerating parturition, when the labour pains of women have come on. A small 
quantity of it being applied to carbuncles, pustules, or other eruptions on the body, 
they are presently dispersed ; and it is efficacious in many other complaints. The 
flesh also of the animal is sold at a dear rate, being thought to have a higher flavour 
than other kinds of meat, and by all persons it is esteemed a delicacy. In this 
province the horses are of a large size, and whilst young, are carried for sale to 
India. It is the practice to deprive them of one joint of the tail, in order to prevent 
them from lashing it from side to side, and to occasion its remaining pendent; as 
the whisking it about, in riding, appears to them a vile habit. These people ride 
with long stirrups, as the French do in our part of the world ; whereas the Tartars, 
and almost all other people, wear them short, for the more conveniently xising the 
bow; as they rise in their stirrups above the horse, when they shoot their arrows. 
They have complete armour of buffalo-leather, and carry lances, shields, and cross- 
bows. All their arrows are poisoned, I was assured, as a certain fact, that many 
persons, and especially those who harbour bad designs, always carry poison about 
them, with the intention of swallowing it, in the event of their being apprehended 
for any delinquency, and exposed to the torture, that, rather than suffer it, they 
may effect their own destruction. But their rulers, who are aware of this practice, 
are always provided with the dung of dogs, which they oblige the accused to 
swallow immediately after, as it occasions their vomiting up the poison, and thus 
an antidote is ready against the arts of these wretches. Before the time of their 
becoming subject to the dominion of the Grand Khan, these people were addicted 
to the following brutal custom. When any stranger of superior quality, who united 


personal beauty with distinguished valour, happened to take up his abode at the 
house of one of them, he was murdered during the night; not for the sake of his 
money, but in order that the spirit of the deceased, endowed with his accompHsh- 
ments and inteUigence, might remain with the family, and that through the 
efficacy of such an acquisition, all their concerns might prosper. Accordingly the 
individual was accounted fortunate who possessed in this manner the soul of any 
noble personage; and many lost their hves in consequence. But from the time of 
His Majesty's beginning to rule the country, he has taken measures for suppressing 
the horrid practice, and from the effect of severe punishments that have been 
inflicted, it has ceased to exist. 

12. Ramusio II, Ch. xlh. Marsden, pp. 441-445. Wright^ pp. 271-276. 

[Frampton, Chs. 82-83, PP- 84, 85; Appendix I. Note 312, p. 218.] 

Of the manner in which the Grand Khan effected the conquest 
of the Kingdom of Mien and Bangala (Burma and Bengal) 

Before we proceed further (in describing the country), we shall speak of a 
memorable battle that was fought in this kingdom of Vochang (Unchang, or 
Yun-chang). It happened that in the year 1272 the Grand Khan sent an army 
into the countries of Vochang and Karazan, for their protection and defence 
against any attack that foreigners might attempt to make; for at this period he 
had not as yet appointed his own sons to the governments, which it was afterwards 
his policy to do; as in the instance of Cen-temur, for whom those places were 
erected into a principality. When the king of Mien and Bangala, in India, who 
was powerful in the number of his subjects, in extent of territory, and in wealth, 
heard that an army of Tartars had arrived at Vochang, he took the resolution of 
advancing immediately to attack it, in order that by its destruction the Grand 
Khan should be deterred from again attempting to station a force upon the borders 
of his dominions. For this piurpose he assembled a very large army, including 
a multitude of elephants (an animal with which his country abounds), upon whose 
backs were placed battlements or castles, of wood, capable of containing to the 
number of twelve or sixteen in each. With these, and a numerous army of horse 
and foot, he took the road to Vochang, where the Grand Khan's army lay, and 
encamping at no great distance from it, intended to give his troops a few days of 
rest. As soon as the approach of the king of Mien, with so great a force, was known 
to Nestardin, who commanded the troops of the Grand Khan, although a brave 
and able officer, he felt much alarmed, not having under his orders more than 
twelve thousand men (veterans, indeed, and valiant soldiers) ; whereas the enemy 
had sixty thousand, besides the elephants armed as has been described. He did 

AMP ig 


not, however, betray any signs of apprehension, but descending into the plain of 
Vochang, took a position in which his flank was covered by a thick wood of large 
trees, whither, in case of a furious charge by the elephants, which his troops might 
not be able to sustain, they could retire, and from thence, in security, annoy them 
with their arrows. Calling together the principal officers of his army, he exhorted 
them not to display less valour on the present occasion than they had done in all 
their preceding engagements, reminding them that victory did not depend upon 
the number of men, but upon courage and discipline. He represented to them that 
the troops of the king of Mien and Bangala were raw and unpractised in the 2Tt 
of war, not having had the opportunities of acquiring experience that had fallen 
to their lot; that instead of being discouraged by the superior number of their foes, 
they ought to feel confidence in their own valour so often put to the test; that their 
very name was a subject of terror, not merely to the enemy before them, but to 
the whole world ; and he concluded by promising to lead them to certain victory. 
Upon the king of Mien's learning that the Tartars had descended into the plain, 
he immediately put his army in motion, took up his ground at the distance of 
about a mile from the enemy, and made a disposition of his force, placing the 
elephants in the front, and the cavalry and infantry, in two extended wings, in 
their rear, but leaving between them a considerable interval. Here he took his 
own station, and proceeded to animate his men and encourage them to fight 
vaHantly, assuring them of victory, as well from the superiority of their numbers, 
being four to one, as from their formidable body of armed elephants, whose shock 
the enemy, who had never before been engaged with such combatants, could by 
no means resist. Then giving orders for sounding a prodigious number of warlike 
instruments, he advanced boldly with his whole army towards that of the Tartars, 
which remained firm, making no movement, but suffering them to approach their 
entrenchments. They then rushed out with great spirit and the utmost eagerness 
to engage; but it was soon found that the Tartar horses, unused to the sight of such 
huge animals, with their castles, were terrified, and wheeling about endeavoured 
to fly; nor could their riders by any exertions restrain them, whilst the king, with 
the whole of his forces, was every moment gaining ground. As soon as the prudent 
commander perceived this unexpected disorder, without losing his presence of 
mind, he instantly adopted the measure of ordering his men to dismount and their 
horses to be taken into the wood, where they were fastened to the trees. When 
dismounted, the men, without loss of time, advanced on foot towards the line of 
elephants, and commenced a brisk discharge of arrows ; whilst, on the other side, 
those who were stationed in the castles, and the rest of the king's army, shot volleys 
in return with great activity; but their arrows did not make the same impression 
as those of the Tartars, whose bows were drawn with a stronger arm. So incessant 
were the discharges of the latter, and all their weapons (according to the instructions 
of their commander) being directed against the elephants, these were soon covered 


with arrows, and, suddenly giving way, fell back upon their own people in the 
rear, who were thereby thrown into confusion. It soon became impossible for their 
drivers to manage them, either by force or address. Smarting under the pain of 
their wounds, and terrified by the shouting of the assailants, they were no longer 
governable, but without guidance or control ran about in all directions, until at 
length, impelled by rage and fear, they rushed into a part of the wood not occupied 
by the Tartars. The consequence of this was, that from the closeness of the branches 
of large trees, they broke, with loud crashes, the battlements or castles that were 
upon their backs, and involved in the destruction those who sat upon them. Upon 
seeing the rout of the elephants the Tartars acquired fresh courage, and filing off 
by detachments, with perfect order and regularity, they remounted their horses, 
and joined their several divisions, when a sanguinary and dreadful combat was 
renewed. On the part of the king's troops there was no want of valour, and he 
himself went amongst the ranks entreating them to stand firm, and not to be 
alarmed by the accident that had befallen the elephants. But the Tartars, by their 
consummate skill in archery, were too powerful for them, and galled them the 
more exceedingly, firom their not being provided with such armour as was worn by 
the former. The arrows having been expended on both sides, the men grasped 
their swords and iron maces, and violently encountered each other. Then in an 
instant were to be seen many horrible wounds, limbs dismembered, and multi- 
tudes faUing to the ground, maimed and dying; with such effusion of blood as was 
dreadful to behold. So great also was the clangour of arms, and such the shoutings 
and the shrieks, that the noise seemed to ascend to the skies. The king of Mien, 
acting as became a valiant chief, was present wherever the greatest danger 
appeared, animating his soldiers, and beseeching them to maintain their ground 
with resolution. He ordered firesh squadrons from the reserve to advance to the 
support of those that were exhausted ; but perceiving at length that it was im- 
possible any longer to sustain the conflict or to withstand the impetuosity of the 
Tartars, the greater part of his troops being either killed or wounded, and all the 
field covered with the carcases of men and horses, whilst those who survived were 
beginning to give way, he also found himself compelled to take to flight with the 
wreck of his army, numbers of whom were afterwards slain in the pursuit. 

The losses in this battle, which lasted firom the morning till noon, were severely 
felt on both sides ; but the Tartars were finally victorious ; a result that was materi- 
ally to be attributed to the troops of the king of Mien and Bangala not wearing 
armour as the Tartars did, and to their elephants, especially those of the foremost 
line, being equally without that kind of defence, which, by enabling them to 
sustain the first discharges of the enemy's arrows, would have allowed them to 
break his ranks and throw him into disorder. A point perhaps of still greater 
importance is, that the king ought not to have made his attack on the Tartars in 
a position where their flank was supported by a wood, but should have endeavoured 



to draw them into the open country, where they could not have resisted the first 
impetuous onset of the armed elephants, and where, by extending the cavalry of 
his two wings, he might have surrounded them. The Tartars having collected 
their force after the slaughter of the enemy, returned towards the wood into which 
the elephants had fled for shelter, in order to take possession of them, where they 
found that the men who had escaped from the overthrow were employed in cutting 
down trees and barricading the passages, with the intent of defending themselves. 
But their ramparts were soon demolished by the Tartars, who slew many of them, 
and with the assistance of the persons accustomed to the management of the 
elephants, they possessed themselves of these to the number of two hundred or 
more. From the period of this battle the Grand Khan has always chosen to employ 
elephants in his armies, which before that time he had not done. The consequences 
of the victory were, that the Grand Khan acquired possession of the whole of the 
territories of the king of Bangala and Mien, and annexed them to his dominions. 

13. Ramusio II, Gh. xliv. Marsden, pp. 448, 449. Wright, pp. 277-279. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. 219.] 

Of the city of Mien, and of a great sepulchre of its king. 
(The city of Pagan in Burma) 

After the journey of fifteen days that has been mentioned, you reach the city 
of Mien, which is large, magnificent, and the capital of the kingdom. The in- 
habitants are idolaters, and have a language peculiar to themselves. It is related 
that there formerly reigned in this country a rich and powerful monarch, who, 
when his death was drawing near, gave orders for erecting on the place of his 
interment, at the head and foot of the sepulchre, two pyramidal towers, entirely 
of marble, ten paces in height, of a proportionate bulk, and each terminating 
with a ball. One of these pyramids was covered with a plate of gold an inch in 
thickness, so that nothing besides the gold was visible ; and the other with a plate 
of silver, of the same thickness. Around the balls were suspended small bells of 
gold and of silver, which sounded when put in motion by the wind. The whole 
formed a splendid object. The tomb was in like manner covered with a plate, partly 
of gold and partly of silver. This the king commanded to be prepared for the honour 
of his soul, and in order that his memory might not perish. The Grand Khan, 
having resolved upon taking possession of this city, sent thither a valiant officer 
to effect it, and the army, at its own desire, was accompanied by some of the 
jugglers or sorcerers, of whom there were always a great number about the court. 
When these entered the city, they observed the two pyramids so richly ornamented, 
but would not meddle with them until his majesty's pleasure respecting them 
should be known. The Grand Khan, upon being informed that they had been 

APPENDIX ir 293 

erected in pious memory of a former king, would not suffer them to be violated 
nor injured in the smallest degree; the Tartars being accustomed to consider as 
a heinous sin the removal of any article appertaining to the dead. [The Z text has 
a unique passage here. See B. p. 124 note d.] In this country were found 
many elephants, large and handsome wild oxen, with stags, fallow deer, and 
other animals in great abundance. 

14. Ramusio II, Ch. xlv. Marsden, pp. 451, 452. Wright, pp. 279-281. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. a 19.] 

Of the province of Bangala (Bengal) 

The province of Bangala is situated on the southern confines of India, and was 
(not yet) brought under the dominion of the Grand Khan at the time of Marco 
Polo's residence at his court [the date is given in the French texts as 1 290] ; (al- 
though) the operations against it occupied his army for a considerable period, the 
country being strong and its king powerful, as has been related. It has its peculiar 
language. The people are worshippers of idols, and amongst them there are 
teachers [this is a corruption, eunuchs are intended; see Y. Vol. n, p. 115 note] 
at the head of schools for instruction in the principles of their idolatrous religion 
and of necromancy, whose doctrine prevails amongst all ranks, including the nobles 
and chiefs of the country. Oxen are found here almost as tall as elephants, but 
not equal to them in bulk. The inhabitants live upon flesh, milk, and rice, ojf which 
they have abundance. Much cotton is grown in the country, and trade flourishes. 
Spikenard, galangal, ginger, sugar, and many sorts of drugs are amongst the 
productions of the soil ; to purchase which the merchants fi*om various parts of 
India resort thither. They likewise make purchases of eunuchs, of whom there are 
numbers in the country, as slaves ; for all the prisoners taken in war are presently 
emasculated ; and as every prince and person of rank is desirous of having them 
for the custody of their women, the merchants obtain a large profit by carrying 
them to other kingdoms, and there disposing of them. This province is thirty days' 
journey in extent, and at the eastern extremity- of it lies a country named Kangigu. 

15. Ramusio II, Ch. xlvi. Marsden, p. 455. Wright^ pp. 281, 282. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. 219.] 

Of the province of Kangigu (" Ciugiu" or "Cangigu," 
Upper Laos) 

Kangigu is a province situated towards the east, and is governed by a king. 
The people are idolaters, have a peculiar language, and made a voluntary sub- 
mission to the Grand Khan, to whom they pay an annual tribute. The king is 


devoted to sensual pleasures. He has about three hundred wives; and when he 
hears of any handsome woman, he sends for her, and adds her to the number. 
Gold is found here in large quantities, and also many kinds of drugs ; but, being 
an inland country, distant from the sea, there is little opportunity of vending them. 
There are elephants in abundance, and other beasts. The inhabitants live upon 
flesh, rice, and milk. They have no wine made from grapes, but prepare it from 
rice and a mixture of drugs. Both men and women have their bodies punctured 
all over, in figures of beasts and birds; and there are among them practitioners 
whose sole employment it is to trace out these ornaments with the point of a 
needle, upon the hands, the legs, and the breast. When a black colouring stuff has 
been rubbed over these punctures, it is impossible, either by water or otherwise, 
to efface the marks. The man or woman who exhibits the greatest profusion of these 
figures, is esteemed the most handsome. [A fuller account of the tattooing is found 
in^. See B. p. 126 note b.] 

16. Ramusio II, Ch. XLvn. Marsden, p. 456. Wright, p. 282. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. 219.] 

Of the province of Amu ("Aniu" or "Anin," 
the S.E. corner of Yunnan) 

Amu, also, is situated towards the east, and its inhabitants are subjects of the 
Grand Khan. They are idolaters, and live upon the flesh of their catde and the 
fruits of the earth. They have a peculiar language. The country produces many 
horses and oxen, which are sold to the itinerant merchants, and conveyed to 
India. Buffaloes also, as well as oxen, are numerous, in consequence of the extent 
and excellence of the pastures. Both men and women wear rings, of gold and 
silver, upon their wrists, arms, and legs ; but those of the females are the more 
costly. The distance between this province and that of Kangigu is twenty-five [the 
French texts read fifteen] days' journey, and thence to Bangala is twenty days' 
journey. We shall now speak of a province named Tholoman, situated eight days' 
journey from the former, 

17. Ramusio II, Ch. xlviii. Marsden, p. 457. Wright, p. 283. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. 219.] 

Of Tholoman ("Toloman" or "Coloman," the western 
frontier of Kwei-chau) 

The province of Tholoman lies towards the east, and its inhabitants are idolaters. 
They have a peculiar language, and are subjects of the Grand Khan. The people 
are tall and good-looking; their complexions inclining rather to brown than fair. 


They are just in their dealings, and brave in war. Many of their towns and castles 
are situated upon lofty mountains. They bum the bodies of their dead ; and the 
bones that are not reduced to ashes, they put into wooden boxes, and carry them 
to the mountains, where they conceal them in caverns of the rocks, in order that 
no wild animal may disturb them. Abundance of gold is found here. For the 
ordinary small currency they use the porcelain shells that come from India; and 
this sort of money prevails also in the two before-mentioned provinces of Kangigu 
and Amu. Their food and drink are the same that has been already mentioned. 

18. Ramusio II, Gh. xux. Marsden, pp. 458-460. Wright, pp. 284-287. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 317, p. 219.] 

Of the cities of Chintigui, Sidin-fu, Gin-gui and Pazan-fu 
(Kwei-chau, Gh'eng-tu fu, Ghochau and Ho-kien fu) 

Leaving the province of Tholoman, and pursuing a course towards the east, 
you travel for twelve days by a river, on each side of which lie many towns and 
castles ; when at length you reach the large and handsome city of Chintigui, the 
inhabitants of which are idolaters, and are the subjects of the Grand Khan. They 
are traders and artisans. They make cloth of the bark of certain trees, which looks 
well, and is the ordinary summer clothing of both sexes. The men are brave 
warriors. They have no other kind of money than the stamped paper of the 
Grand Khan. 

In this province the tigers are so numerous, that the inhabitants, from appre- 
hension of their ravages, cannot venture to sleep at night out of their towns ; and 
those who navigate the river dare not go to rest with their boats moored near the 
banks ; for these animals have been known to plunge into the water, swim to the 
vessel, and drag the men from thence; but find it necessary to anchor in the middle 
of the stream, where, in consequence of its great width, they are in safety. In 
this country are likewise found the largest and fiercest dogs that can be met with: 
so courageous and powerful are they, that a man, with a couple of them, may be 
an overmatch for a tiger. Armed with a bow and arrows, and thus attended, 
should he meet a tiger, he sets on his intrepid dogs, who instandy advance to the 
attack. The animal instinctively seeks a tree, against which to place himself, in 
order that the dogs may not be able to get behind him, and that he may have his 
enemies in front. With this intent, as soon as he perceives the dogs, he makes 
towards the tree, but with a slow pace, and by no means running, that he may not 
show any signs of fear, which his pride would not allow. During this deliberate 
movement, the dogs fasten upon him, and the man plies him with his arrows. 
He, in his turn, endeavours to seize the dogs, but they are too nimble for him, and 


draw back, when he resumes his slow march; but before he can gain his position, 
he has been wounded by so many arrows, and so often bitten by the dogs, that 
he falls through weakness and from loss of blood. By these means it is that he is 
at length taken. [F. gives the above description as part of his Ch. 83, but makes 
the animal an elephant instead of a tiger.] 

There is here an extensive manufacture of silks, which are exported in large 
quantities to other parts by the navigation of the river, which continues to pass 
amongst towns and castles; and the people subsist entirely by trade. At the end 
of twelve days, you arrive at the city of Sidin-fu, of which an account has been 
already given. From thence, in twenty days, you reach Gin-gui, and in four days 
more the city of Pazan-fu, which belongs to Cathay, and lies towards the south, 
in returning by the other side of the province. The inhabitants worship idols, and 
bum the bodies of their dead. There are here also certain Christians, who have 
a church. They are subjects of the Grand Khan, and his paper money is current 
among them. They gain their living by trade and manufacture, having silk in 
abundance, of which they weave tissues mixed with gold, and also very fine scarfs. 
This city has many towns and castles under its jurisdiction. A great river flows 
beside it, by means of which large quantities of merchandise are conveyed to the 
city of Kanbalu; for by the digging of many canals it is made to communicate 
with the capital. But we shall take our leave of this, .... 

19. Ramusio II, Ch. lh. Marsden, pp. 466, 467. Wright^ pp. 289-291. 

[Frampton, Ch. 86, p. 86; Appendix I. Note 324, p. 221.] 

OfthecityofTudin-fu ("Candrafra," "Tandinfu," 


When you depart from Chan-gli, and travel southwards six days' [so also B., 
but Y. reads "five"] journey, you pass many towns and casties of great importance 
and grandeur, whose inhabitants worship idols, and burn the bodies of their dead. 
They are the subjects of the Grand Khan, and receive his paper money as currency. 
They subsist by trade and manufactures, and have provisions in abundance. At 
the end of these six days you arrive at a city named Tudin-fu, which was formerly 
a magnificent capital, but the Grand Khan reduced it to his subjection by force 
of arms. It is rendered a delightful residence by the gardens which surround it, 
stored as they are with handsome shrubs and excellent fruits. Silk is produced 
here in large quantities. It has under its jurisdiction eleven cities and considerable 
towns of the empire, all places of great trade, and having abundance of silk. It 
was the seat of government of its own king, before the period of its reduction by 


the Grand Khan. In 1272 [Y. reads 1273] the latter appointed one of his officers 
of the highest rank, named Lucansor [corrupted from "Ltitam Sangon" of fr. 1 1 16 
and "Liyton Sangon" of Y. See PelUot, Journ. As. 191 2, p. 584 n., and Moule, 
T'oung Pao, July 191 5, p. 417] to the government of this city, with a command of 
eighty thousand horse, for the protection of that part of the country. This man 
upon finding himself master of a rich and highly productive district, and at the 
head of so powerful a force, became intoxicated with pride, and formed schemes 
of rebellion against his sovereign. With this view he tampered with the principal 
persons of the city, persuaded them to become partakers in his .evil designs, and 
by their means succeeded in producing a revolt throughout all the towns and 
fortified places of the province. As soon as the Grand Khan became acquainted 
with these traitorous proceedings, he despatched to that quarter an army of a 
hundred thousand men, under the orders of two others of his nobles, one of whom 
was named Angul [read Aguil] and the other Mongatai. When the approach of 
this force was known to Lucansor, he lost no time in assembUng an army no less 
numerous than that of his opponents, and brought them as speedily as possible 
to action. There was much slaughter on both sides, when at length, Lucansor 
being killed, his troops betook themselves to flight. Many were slain in the pursuit, 
and many were made prisoners. These were conducted to the presence of the 
Grand Khan, who caused the principals to be put to death, and pardoning the 
others took them into his own service, to which they ever afterwards continued 
faithful. [At this point the newly found ^ text adds 64 entirely new lines. See 
B. pp. 130-132.] 

20. Ramusio II, Ch. Lm. Marsden, pp. 469, 470. Wright, pp. 291, 292. 

[Frampton, Ch. 86, p. 86; Appendix I. Note 326, p. 222.] 

Of the city of Singui-matu (Tsi-ning-chau) 

Travelling from Tudin-fu three [M. originally had "seven"] days, in a 
southerly direction, you pass many considerable towns and strong places, where 
commerce and manufactures flourish. The inhabitants are idolaters, and are 
subjects of the Grand Khan. The country abounds with game, both beasts and 
birds, and produces an ample supply of the necessaries of life. At the end of three 
days you arrive at the city of Singui-matu [see above], within which, but on the 
southern side, passes a large and deep river, which the inhabitants divided into 
two branches, one of which, taking its course to the east, runs through Kataia, 
whilst the other, taking a westerly course, passes towards the province of Manji. 
This river is navigated by so many vessels that the number might seem incredible, 
and serves to convey from both provinces, that is, from the one province to the 
other, every requisite article of consumption. It is indeed surprising to observe 


the multitude and the size of the vessels that are continually passing and repassing, 
laden with merchandise of the greatest value. On leaving Singui-matu and travel- 
ling towards the south for sixteen days, you unceasingly meet with commercial 
towns and with castles. The people throughout the country are idolaters, and 
subjects of the Grand Khan. 

21. As both Frampton and Ramusio omit the chapters on the cities of 
"Linju," "Piju," and "Siju" they are given below from the trans- 
lation by Yule, corrected, however, by fr. 1116. 

In Frampton's text they should come at the end of Ch. 86. 
See Appendix I, Note 326, p. 222. 

Tule, Bk. n, Ch. lxiii; Ben., Chs. cxxxvn and cxxxvin 

Concerning the cities of Linju and Piju 
(? Siichaufu and Pei-chau) 

On leaving the city [fr. 1 1 16 has "ceste ville de Singiu"] of Sinju-matu you travel 
for eight days towards the south, always coming to great and rich towns and 
villages flourishing with trade and manufactures. The people are all subjects of 
the Great Khan, use paper-money, and burn their dead. At the end of those eight 
days you come to the city of Linju, in the province of the same name of which it 
is the capital. It is a rich and noble city, and the men are good soldiers, natheless 
they carry on great trade and manufactures [fr. 1 116 also has "II sunt ydres..."]. 
There is a great abundance of game in both beasts and birds, and all the necessaries 
of life are in profusion. The place stands on the river of which I told you above. 
And they have here great numbers of vessels, even greater than those of which 
I spoke before, and these transport a great amount of cosdy merchandize. [Here 
the next chapter of B. commences.] 

So, quitting this province and city [fr. 11 16 has only "cite..."] of Linju, you 
travel three days more towards the south, constandy finding numbers of rich towns 
and villages. These still belong to Cathay; and the people are all idolaters, 
burning their dead, and using paper-money, that I mean of their Lord the Great 
Khan, whose subjects they are [fr. 11 16 simply says, "et sunt au grant Kaan," 
but adds, "Et ausint sunt (com) les autres que jevos ai contes en ariere"]. This 
is the finest country for game, whether in beasts or birds, that is anywhere to be 
found, and all the necessaries of life are in profiision. 

At the end of those three days you find the city of Piju, a great, rich, and noble 
city, with large trade and manufactures, and a great producdon of silk. This city 
stands at the entrance to the great province of Manzi, and there reside at it a great 
number of merchants who despatch carts from this place loaded with great 
quantities of goods to the different towns [" towns and villages " in fr. 1 1 1 6] of Manzi. 


The city brings in a great revenue to the Great Khan [fr. 1 1 16 adds : " II n'i a autre 
couse que a mentovoir face; et par ce nos en partiron et vos conteron de un autre 
cite, qui est apelle Cingiu que est encore a midi"]. 

Tule, Bk. II, Gh. lxiv; Ben.y Ch. cxxxix 

Concerning the city of Siju, and the Great River Caramoran 
(Su-t'sien and the old bed of the Hwang ho, or Yellow River) 

When you leave Piju [fr. 11 16 has "la cite de Pingiu"] you travel towards the 
south for two days, through beautiful districts abounding in everything, and in 
which you find quantities of all kinds of game. At the end of those two days you 
reach the city of Siju ["Cingiu"], a great, rich, and noble city, flourishing with 
trade and manufactures. The people are idolaters, burn their dead, use paper- 
money, and are subjects of the Great Khan [Y. omits the last part of this now 
usual formula, found in fr. 11 16: "and use paper-money"]. 

This ends the portions omitted in F. The rest of Y. Bk. 11. Ch. Lxrv 
and B. Ch. cxxxix corresponds roughly to F. Ch. 87, p. 87 of this 

22. Ramusio II, Ch. lv. Marsden, pp. 474-476. Wright, pp. 294-298. 

[Frampton, Ch. 88, p. 88; Appendix I. Note 339, p. 225.] 

Of the most noble province of Manji, and of the manner in 
which it was subdued by the Grand Khan 

The province of Manji is the most magnificent and the richest that is known in 
the eastern world. About the year 1269 it was subject to a prince who was styled 
Fanfur, and who surpassed in power and wealth any other that for a century had 
reigned in that country. His disposition was pacific, and his actions benevolent. 
So much was he beloved by his people, and such the strength of his kingdom, 
enclosed by rivers of the largest size, that his being molested by any power upon 
earth was regarded as an impossible event. The effect of this opinion was, that he 
neither paid any attention himself to military affairs, nor encouraged his people 
to become acquainted with military exercises. The cities of his dominions were 
remarkably well fortified, being surrounded by deep ditches, a bow-shot in width, 
and full of water. He did not keep up any force in cavalry, because he was not 
apprehensive of attack. The means of increasing his enjoyments and multiplying 
his pleasures were the chief employment of his thoughts. He maintained at his 
court, and kept near his person, about a thousand beautiful women, in whose 
society he took delight. He was a friend to peace and to justice, which he ad- 


ministered strictly. The smallest act of oppression, or injury of any kind, com- 
mitted by one man against another, was punished in an exemplary manner, 
without respect of persons. Such indeed was the impression of his justice, that 
when shops, filled with goods, happened, through the negligence of the owners, 
to be left open, no person dared to enter them, or to rob them of the smallest 
article. Travellers of all descriptions might pass through every part of the kingdom, 
by night as well as by day, freely and without apprehension of danger. He was 
religious, and charitable to the poor and needy. Children whom their wretched 
mothers exposed in consequence of their inability to rear them, he caused to be 
saved and taken care of, to the number of twenty thousand annually. When the 
boys attained a sufficient age, he had them instructed in some handicraft, and 
afterwards married them to young women who were brought up in the same 

Very different from the temper and habits of Fanfur were those of Kublai-khan, 
emperor of the Tartars, whose whole delight consisted in thoughts of a warlike 
nature, of the conquest of countries, and of extending his renown. After having 
annexed to his dominions a number of provinces and kingdoms, he now directed 
his views to the subduing that of Manji, and for this purpose assembled a numerous 
army of horse and foot, the command of which he gave to a general named 
Chin-san Bay-an, which signifies in our language, the " Hundred-eyed." A number 
of vessels were likewise put under his orders, with which he proceeded to the 
invasion of Manji. Upon landing there, he immediately summoned the in- 
habitants of the city of Koi-gan-zu to surrender to the authority of his sovereign. 
Upon their refusal to comply, instead of giving orders for an assault, he advanced 
to the next city, and when he there received a similar answer, proceeded to a third 
and a fourth, with the same result. Deeming it no longer prudent to leave so many 
cities in his rear, whilst not only his army was strong, but he expected to be soon 
joined by another of equal force, which the Grand Khan was to send to him from 
the interior, he resolved upon the attack of one of these cities ; and having, by 
great exertions and consummate skill, succeeded in carrying the place, he put 
every individual found in it to the sword. As soon as the intelligence of this event 
reached the other cities, it struck their inhabitants with such consternation and 
terror, that of their own accord they hastened to declare their submission. This 
being effected, he advanced, with the united force of his two armies, against the 
royal city of Kinsai, the residence of king Fanfur, who felt all the agitation and 
dread of a person who had never seen a battle, nor been engaged in any sort of 
warfare. Alarmed for the safety of his person, he made his escape to a fleet of 
vessels that lay in readiness for the purpose, and embarking all his treasure and 
valuable effects, left the charge of the city to his queen, with directions for its being 
defended to the utmost; feeling assured that her sex would be a protection to her, 
in the event of her falling into the hands of the enemy. He from thence proceeded 

APPENDIX 11 301 

to sea, and reaching certain islands, where were some strongly fortified posts, he 
continued there till his death. After the queen had been left in the manner related, 
it is said to have come to her knowledge that the king had been told by his as- 
trologers that he could never be deprived of his sovereignty by any other than 
a chief who should have a hundred eyes. On the strength of this declaration she 
felt confident, notwithstanding that the city became daily more and more straitened, 
that it could not be lost, because it seemed a thing impossible that any mortal 
could have that number of eyes. Inquiring, however, the name of the general 
who commanded the enemy's troops, and being told it was Chin-san Bay-an, 
which means a hundred eyes, she was seized with horror at hearing it pronounced, 
as she felt a conviction that this must be the person who, according to the saying 
of the astrologers, might drive her husband from his throne. Overcome by 
womanish fear, she no longer attempted to make resistance, but immediately 
surrendered. Being thus in possession of the capital, the Tartars soon brought 
the remainder of the province under their subjection. The queen was sent to the 
presence of Kublaii-khan, where she was honourably received by him, and an 
allowance was by his orders assigned, that enabled her to support the dignity of 
her rank. Having stated the manner in which the conquest of Manji was effected, 
we shall now speak of the different cities of that province, .... 

23. Ramusio II, Ch. lxii. Marsden, pp. 488, 489. Wright, pp. 302-304. 

[Frampton, Ch. 93, pp. 90, 91 ; Appendix I. Note 353, p. 228.] 

Of the City of Sa-yan-fu, that was taken by the means of 
MM. Nicolo and Maffeo Polo (Siege of Siang-Yang) 

Sa-yan-fu is a considerable city of the province of Manji, having under its 
jurisdiction twelve wealthy and large towns. It is a place of great commerce and 
extensive manufactures. The inhabitants bum the bodies of their dead, and are 
idolaters. They are the subjects of the Grand Khan, and use his paper currency- 
Raw silk is there produced in great quantity, and the finest silks, intermixed with 
gold, are woven. Game of all kinds abounds. The place is amply furnished with 
everything that belongs to a great city, and by its uncommon strength it was 
enabled to stand a siege of three years ; refusing to surrender to the Grand Khan, 
even after he had obtained possession of the province of Manji. The difficulties 
experienced in the reduction of it were chiefly occasioned by the army's not being 
able to approach it, excepting on the northern side; the others being surrounded 
with water, by means of which the place continually received supplies, which it 
was not in the power of the besiegers to prevent. When the operations were 
reported to His Majesty, he felt extremely hurt that this place alone should 


obstinately hold out, after all the rest of the country had been reduced to obedi- 
ence. The circumstance having come to the knowledge of the brothers Nicolo and 
Maffeo, who were then resident at the imperial court, they immediately presented 
themselves to the Grand Khan, and proposed to him that they should be allowed 
to construct machines, such as were made use of in the West, capable of throwing 
stones of three hundred pounds weight, by which the buildings of the city might 
be destroyed and the inhabitants killed. Their memorial was attended to by the 
Grand Khan, who, warmly approving of the scheme, gave orders that the ablest 
smiths and carpenters should be placed under their direction; amongst whom 
were some Nestorian Christians, who proved to be most able mechanics. In a few 
days they completed their mangonels, according to the instructions furnished by 
the two brothers ; and a trial being made of them in the presence of the Grand 
Khan, and of his whole court, an opportunity was afforded of seeing them cast 
stones, each of which weighed three hundred pounds. They were then put on 
board of vessels, and conveyed to the army. When set up in front of the city of 
Sa-yan-fu, the first stone projected by one of them fell with such weight and 
violence upon a building, that a great part of it was crushed, and fell to the ground. 
So terrified were the inhabitants by this mischief, which to them seemed to be the 
effect of a thunderbolt from heaven, that they immediately dehberated upon the 
expediency of surrendering. Persons authorised to treat were accordingly sent 
from the place, and their submission was accepted on the same terms and con- 
ditions as had been granted to the rest of the province. This prompt result of their 
ingenuity increased the reputation and credit of these two Venetian brothers in 
the opinion of the Grand Khan and of all his courtiers. 

24. Ramusio 11, Ch, LXin. Marsden, pp. 494, 495. Wright^ pp. 305-307. 

\Frampton, Ch. 94, p. 91; Appendix I. Note 356, p. 230.] 

Of the city of Sin-gui, and of the very great river Kiang 
(Tcheng on the Yangtze) 

Leaving the ciiy of Sa-yan-fu, and proceeding fifteen days' journey towards the 
south-east, you reach the city of Sin-gui, which, although not large, is a place of 
great commerce. The number of vessels that belong to it is prodigious, in con- 
sequence of its being situated near the Kiang, which is the largest river in the 
world, its width being in some places ten, in others eight, and in others six miles. 
Its length, to the place where it discharges itself into the sea, is upwards of one 
hundred days' journey. It is indebted for its great size to the vast number of other 
navigable rivers that empty tlieir waters into it, which have their sources in distant 
countries. A great number of cities and large towns are situated upon its banks, 


and more than two hundred, with sixteen provinces, partake of the advantages of 
its navigation, by which the transport of merchandise is to an extent that might 
appear incredible to those who have not had an opportunity of witnessing it. 
When we consider, indeed, the length of its course, and the multitude of rivers 
that communicate with it (as has been observed), it is not surprising that the 
quantity and value of articles for the supply of so many places, lying in all direc- 
tions, should be incalculable. The principal commodity, however, is salt, which is 
not only conveyed by means of the Kiang, and the rivers connected with it, to 
the towns upon their banks, but afterwards from thence to all places in the interior 
of the country. On one occasion, when Marco Polo was at the city of Sin-gui, he 
saw there not fewer than five thousand vessels ; and yet there are other towns along 
the river where the number is still more considerable. All these vessels are covered 
with a kind of deck, and have a mast with one sail. Their burthen is in general 
about four thousand cantari, or quintals, of Venice, and from that upwards to 
twelve thousand cantari, which some of them are capable of loading. They do not 
employ hempen cordage, excepting for the masts and sails (standing and running 
rigging) . They have canes of the length of fifteen paces, such as have been already 
described, which they split, in their whole length, into very thin pieces, and these, 
by twisting them together, they form into ropes three hundred paces long. So 
skilfully are they manufactured, that they are equal in strength to cordage made 
of hemp. With these ropes the vessels are tracked along the rivers, by means of 
ten or twelve horses to each, as well upwards, against the current, as in the opposite 
direction. At many places near the banks of this river there are hills and small 
rocky eminences, upon which are erected idol temples and other edifices, and you 
find a continual succession of villages and inhabited places. 

25. Ramusio II, Gh. Lxvm. Marsden, pp. 508-542. Wright, pp. 313-335. 

[Frampton, Chs. 98-100, pp. 93-95; Appendix I. Note 368, p. 233.] 

Of the noble and magnificent city of Kin-sai (Hang-chau) 

UpoNleavingVa-giu you pass, in the course of three days' [F. has "five"; possibly 
an attempt to make up for the omission of " Vuju," etc.] journey, many towns, 
casties, and villages, all of them well inhabited and opulent. The people are 
idolaters, and the subjects of the Grand Khan, and they use paper money and 
have abundance of provisions. At the end of three days you reach the noble and 
magnificent city of Kin-sai, a name that signifies "the celestial city," and which 
it merits from its preeminence to all others in the world, in point of grandeur and 
beauty, as well as from its abundant delights, which might lead an inhabitant to 
imagine himself in paradise. This city was frequentiy visited by Marco Polo, who 


carefully and diligently observed and inquired into every circumstance respecting 
it, all of which he entered in his notes, from whence the following particulars are 
briefly stated. According to common estimation, this city is an hundred miles 
in circuit. Its streets and canals are extensive, and there are squares, or market- 
places, which, being necessarily proportioned in size to the prodigious concourse 
of people by whom they are frequented, are exceedingly spacious. It is situated 
between a lake of fresh and very clear water on the one side, and a river of great 
magnitude on the other, the waters of which, by a number of canals, large and 
small, are made to run through every quarter of the city, carrying with them all 
the filth into the lake, and ultimately to the sea. This, whilst it contributes much 
to the purity of the air, furnishes a communication by water, in addition to that 
by land, to all parts of the town; the canals and the streets being of sufficient width 
to allow of boats on the one, and carriages in the other, conveniendy passing, with 
articles necessary for the consumption of the inhabitants. It is commonly said 
that the number of bridges, of all sizes, amounts to twelve thousand. Those which 
are thrown over the principal canals and are connected with the main streets, have 
arches so high, and built with so much skill, that vessels with [M. had "without"] 
their masts can pass under them, whilst, at the same time, carts and norses are 
passing over their heads, — so well is the slope from the street adapted to the height 
of the arch. If they were not in fact so numerous, there would be no convenience 
of crossing from one place to another. 

Beyond the city, and enclosing it on that side, there is a fosse about forty miles 
in length, very wide, and full of water that comes from the river before mentioned. 
This was excavated by the ancient kings of the province, in order that when the 
river should overflow its banks, the superfluous water might be diverted into this 
channel ; and to serve at the same time as a measure of defence. The earth dug out 
from thence was thrown to the inner side, and has the appearance of many 
hillocks surrounding the place. There are within the city ten principal squares or 
market-places, besides innumerable shops along the streets. Each side of these 
squares is half a mile in length, and in front of them is the main street, forty paces 
in width, and running in a direct line from one extremity of the city to the other. 
It is crossed by many low and convenient bridges. These market-squares (two 
miles in their whole dimension) are at the distance of four miles from each other. 
In a direction parallel to that of the main street, but on the opposite side of the 
squares, runs a very large canal, on the nearer bank of which capacious ware- 
houses are built of stone, for the accommodation of the merchants who arrive from 
India and other parts, together with their goods and effects, in order that they may 
be conveniently situated with respect to the market-places. In each of these, upon 
three days in every week, there is an assemblage of from forty to fifty thousand 
persons, who attend the markets and supply them with every article of provision 
that can be desired. There is an abundant quantity of game of all kinds, such as 


roebucks, stags, fallow deer, hares, and rabbits, together with partridges, pheasants, 
francolins, quails, common fowls, capons, and such numbers of ducks and geese 
as can scarcely be expressed; for so easily are they bred and reared on the lake, 
that, for the value of a Venetian silver groat, you may purchase a couple of geese 
and two couple of ducks. There, also, are the shambles, where they slaughter cattle 
for food, such as oxen, calves, kids, and lambs, to furnish the tables of rich persons 
and of the great magistrates. As to people of the lower classes, they do not scruple 
to eat every other kind of flesh, however unclean, without any discrimination. At 
all seasons there is in the markets a great variety of herbs and fruits, and especially 
pears of an extraordinary size, weighing ten pounds each, that are white in the 
inside, like paste, and have a very fragrant smell. There are peaches also, in their 
season, both of the yellow and the white kind, and of a delicious flavour. Grapes 
are not produced there, but are brought in a dried state, and very good, from other 
parts. This applies also to wine, which the natives do not hold in estimation, being 
accustomed to their own liquor prepared from rice and spices. From the sea, which 
is fifteen miles distant, there is daily brought up the river, to the city, a vast 
quantity of fish ; and in the lake also there is abundance, which gives employment 
at all times to persons whose sole occupation it is to catch them. The sorts are 
various according to the season of the year, and, in consequence of the offal 
carried thither from the town, they become large and rich. At the sight of such 
an importation offish, you would think it impossible that it could be sold; and yet, 
in the course of a few hours, it is all taken off, so great is the number of inhabitants, 
even of those classes which can afford to indulge in such luxuries, for fish and flesh 
are eaten at the same meal. Each of the ten market-squares is siurounded with 
high dwelling-houses, in the lower part of which are shops, where every kind of 
manufacture is carried on, and every article of trade is sold; such, amongst others, 
as spices, drugs, trinkets, and pearls. In certain shops nothing is vended but the 
wine of the country, which they are continually brewing, and serve out fresh to 
their customers at a moderate price. The streets connected with the market- 
squares are numerous, and in some of them are many cold baths, attended by 
servants of both sexes, to perform the offices of ablution for the men and women 
who frequent them, and who from their childhood have been accustomed at all 
times to wash in cold water, which they reckon highly conducive to health. At 
these bathing places, however, they have apartments provided with warm water, 
for the use of strangers, who, from not being habituated to it, cannot bear the 
shock of the cold. All are in the daily practice of washing their persons, and 
especially before their meals. [See Y. Vol. n. p. 189, and note 8 on p. 198.] 

In other streets are the habitations of the courtesans, who are here in such 

numbers as I dare not venture to report : and not only near the squares, which is 

he situation usually appropriated for their residence, but in every part of the 

city they are to be found, adorned with much finery, highly perfumed, occupying 


well-furnished houses, and attended by many female domestics. These women are 
accomplished, and are perfect in the arts of blandishment and dalliance, which 
they accompany with expressions adapted to every description of person, insomuch 
that strangers who have once tasted of their charms, remain in a state of fascina- 
tion, and become so enchanted by their meretricious arts, that they can never 
divest themselves of the impression. Thus intoxicated with sensual pleasures, when 
they return to their homes they report that they have been in Kin-sai, or the 
celestial city, and pant for the time when they may be enabled to revisit paradise. 
In other streets are the dwellings of the physicians and the astrologers, who also 
give instructions in reading and writing, as well as in many other arts. They have 
apartments also amongst those which surround the market-squares. On opposite 
sides of each of these squares there are two large edifices, where officers appointed 
by the Grand Khan are stationed, to take immediate cognisance of any differences 
that may happen to arise between the foreign merchants, or amongst the inhabi- 
tants of the place. It is their duty likewise to see that the guards upon the several 
bridges in their respective vicinities (of whom mention shall be made hereafter) 
are duly placed, and in cases of neglect, to punish the delinquents at their discre- 

On each side of the principal street, already mentioned as extending from one 
end of the city to the other, there are houses and mansions of great size, with their 
gardens, and near to these, the dwellings of the artisans, who work in shops, at 
their several trades ; and at all hours you see such multitudes of people passing 
and repassing, on their various avocations, that the providing food in sufficiency 
for their maintenance might be deemed an impossibility; but other ideas will be 
formed when it is observed that, on every market-day, the squares are crowded 
with tradespeople, who cover the whole space with the articles brought by carts 
and boats, for all of which they find a sale. By instancing the single article of 
pepper, some notion may be formed of the whole quantity of provisions, meat, 
wine, groceries, and the like, required for the consumption of the inhabitants of 
Kin-sai ; and of this, Marco Polo learned from an officer employed in the Grand 
Khan's customs, the daily amount was forty-three loads, each load being two 
hundred and forty-three pounds. [R. has "dugento, & ventitre," so we must 
alter M.'s translation to "223." This is supported by Z ^s well as Y.] 

The inhabitants of the city are idolaters, and they use paper money as currency. 
The men as well as the women have fair complexions, and are handsome. The 
greater part of them are always clothed in silk, in consequence of the vast quantity 
of that material produced in the territory of Kin-sai, exclusively of what the 
merchants import from other provinces. Amongst the handicraft trades exercised 
in the place, there are twelve considered to be superior to the rest, as being more 
generally useful; for each of which there are a thousand workshops, and each shop 
furnishes employment for ten, fifteen, or twenty workmen, and in a few instances 


as many as forty, under their respective masters. The opulent principals in these 
manufactories do not labour with their own hands, but, on the conrrar)% assume 
airs of gentility and affect parade. Their wives equally abstain from work. They 
have much beauty, as has been remarked, and are brought up with delicate and 
languid habits. The costliness of their dresses, in silks and jewellery, can scarcely 
be imagined. Although the laws of their ancient kings ordained that each citizen 
should exercise the profession of his father, yet they were allowed, when they 
acquired wealth, to discontinue the manual labour, provided they kept up the 
establishment, and employed persons to work at their paternal trades. Their 
houses are well built and richly adorned with carved work. So much do they 
delight in ornaments of this kind, in pair*;ings, and fancy buildings, that the sums 
they lavish on such objects are enormous. The natural disposition of the native 
inhabitants of Kin-sai is pacific, and by the example of their former kings, who 
were themselves unwarlike, they have been accustomed to habits of tranquillity. 
The management of arms is unknown to them, nor do they keep any in their 
houses. Contentious broils are never heard among them. They conduct their 
mercantile and manufacturing concerns with perfect candour and probity. They 
are friendly towards each other, and persons who inhabit the same street, both 
men and women, from the mere circumstance of neighbourhood, appear like one 
family. In their domestic manners they are free from jealousy or suspicion of 
their wives, to whom great respect is shown, and any man would be accounted 
infamous who should presume to use indecent expressions to a married woman. 
To strangers also, who visit their city in the way of commerce, they give proofs 
of cordiality, inviting them freely to their houses, showing them hospitable atten- 
tion, and furnishing them with the best advice and assistance in their mercantile 
transactions. On the other hand, they dislike the sight of soldiery, not excepting 
the guards of the Grand Khan, as they preserve the recollection that by them they 
were deprived of the government of their native kings and rulers. 

On the borders of the lake [F. has "in" instead of "on" the lake] are many 
handsome and spacious edifices belonging to men of rank and great magistrates. 
There are likewise many idol temples, with their monasteries, occupied by a 
number of monks, who perform the service of the idols. Near the central part are 
two islands, upon each of which stands a superb building, with an incredible 
number of apartments and separate pavilions ["Pallaces" in F.]. When the 
inhabitants of the city have occasion to celebrate a wedding, or to give a sumptuous 
entertainment, they resort to one of these islands, where tliey find ready for their 
purpose every article that can be required, such as vessels, napkins, table-linen, 
and the like, which are provided and kept there at the common expense of the 
citizens, by whom also the buildings were erected. It may happen that at one 
time there are a hundred parties assembled there, at wedding or other feasts, all 
of whom, notwithstanding, are accommodated with separate rooms or pavilions, 


SO judiciously arranged that they do not interfere with or incommode each other. 
In addition to this, there are upon the lake a great number of pleasure-vessels or 
barges, calculated for holding ten, fifteen, to twenty persons, being from fifteen 
to twenty paces in length, with a wide and flat flooring, and not liable to heel to 
either side in passing through the water. Such persons as take delight in the 
amusement, and mean to enjoy it, either in the company of their women or that 
of their male companions, engage one of these barges, which are always kept in 
the nicest order, with proper seats and tables, together with every other kind of 
furniture necessary for giving an entertainment. The cabins have a flat roof or 
upper deck, where the boatmen take their place, and by means of long poles, 
which they thrust to the bottom of the lake (not more than one or two fathoms in 
depth), they shove the barges along, until they reach the intended spot. These 
cabins are painted withinside of various colours and with a variety of figures ; all 
parts of the vessel are likewise adorned with painting. There are windows on each 
side, which may either be kept shut, or opened, to give an opportunity to the 
company, as they sit at table, of looking out in every direction and feasting their 
eyes on the variety and beauty of the scenes as they pass them. And truly the 
gratification afforded in this manner, upon the water, exceeds any that can be 
derived from the amusements on the land ; for as the lake extends the whole length 
of the city, on one side, you have a view, as you stand in the boat, at a certain 
distance from the shore, of all its grandeur and beauty, its palaces, temples, con- 
vents, and gardens, with trees of the largest size growing down to the water's edge, 
whilst at the same time you enjoy the sight of other boats of the same description, 
continually passing you, filled in like manner with parties in pursuit of amusement. 
In fact, the inhabitants of this place, as soon as the labours of the day have ceased, 
or their mercantile transactions are closed, think of nothing else than of passing 
the remaining hours in parties of pleasure, with their wives or their mistresses, 
either in these barges, or about the city in carriages, of which it will here be proper 
to give some account, as constituting one of the amusements of these people. 

It must be observed, in the first place, that the streets of Kin-sai are all paved 
with stones and bricks, and so likewise are all the principal roads extending from 
thence through the province of Manji, by means of which passengers can travel 
to every part without soiling their feet; but as the couriers of His Majesty, who go 
on horseback with great speed, cannot make use of the pavement, a part of the 
road, on one side, is on their account left unpaved. The main street of the city, 
of which we have before spoken, as leading from one extremity to the other, is 
paved with stone and brick to the width often paces on each side, the intermediate 
part being filled up with small gravel, and provided with arched drains for carrying 
off the rain-water that falls, into the neighbouring canals, so that it remains always 
dry. On this gravel it is that the carriages are continually passing and repassing. 
They are of a long shape, covered at top, have curtains and cushions of silk, and 


are capable of holding six persons. Both men and women who feel disposed to 
take their pleasure, are in the daily practice of hiring them for that purpose, and 
accordingly at every hour you may see vast numbers of them driven along the 
middle part of the street. Some of them proceed to visit certain gardens, where 
the company are introduced, by those who have the management of the place, 
to shady recesses contrived by the gardeners for that purpose; and here the men 
indulge themselves all day in the society of their women, returning home, when it 
becomes late, in the manner they came. 

It is the custom of the people of Kin-sai, upon the birth of a child, for the 
parents to make a note, immediately, of the day, hour, and minute at which the 
deUvery took place. They then inquire of an astrologer under what sign or aspect 
of the heavens the child was born ; and his answer is likewise committed carefully 
to writing. When therefore he is grown up, and is about to engage in any mer- 
cantile adventure, voyage, or treaty of marriage, this document is carried to the 
astrologer, who, having examined it, and weighed all the circumstances, pro- 
nounces certain oracular words, in which these people, who sometimes find them 
justified by the event, place great confidence. Of these astrologers, or rather 
magicians, great numbers are to be met with in every market-place, and no 
marriage is ever celebrated until an opinion has been pronounced upon it by one 
of that profession. 

It is also their custom, upon the death of any great and rich personage, to observe 
the following ceremonies. The relations, male and female, clothe themselves in 
coarse dresses, and accompany the body to the place appointed for burning it. 
The procession is likewise attended by performers on various musical instruments, 
which are sounded as it moves along, and prayers to their idols are chanted in 
a loud voice. When arrived at the spot, they throw into the flame many pieces 
of cotton-paper, upon which are painted representations of male and female 
servants, horses, camels, silk wrought with gold, as well as of gold and silver money. 
This is done, in consequence of their belief that the deceased will possess in the 
other world all these conveniences, the former in their natural state of flesh and 
bones, together with the money and the silks. As soon as the pile has been con- 
sumed, they sound all the instruments of music at the same time, producing a loud 
and long-continued noise; and they imagine that by these ceremonies their idols 
are induced to receive the soul of the man whose corpse has been reduced to ashes, 
in order to its being regenerated in the other world, and entering again into life. 

In every street of this city there are stone buildings or towers, to which, in case 
of a fire breaking out in any quarter (an accident by no means unusual, as the 
houses are mostly constructed of wood), the inhabitants may remove their effects 
for security. By a regulation which His Majesty has established, there is a guard 
of ten watchmen stationed, under cover, upon all the principal bridges, of whom 
five do duty by day and five by night. Each of these guard-rooms is provided with 


a sonorous wooden instrument as well as one of metal, together with a clepsydra 
(horiuolo), by means of which latter the hours of the day and night are ascertained. 
As soon as the first hour of the night is expired, one of tlie watchmen gives a single 
stroke upon the wooden instrument, and also upon the metal gong {bacino), which 
announces to the people of the neighbouring streets that it is the first hour. At 
the expiration of the second, two strokes are given ; and so on progressively, in- 
creasing the number of strokes as the hours advance. The guard is not allowed to 
sleep, and must be always on the alert. In the morning, as soon as the sun begins 
to appear, a single stroke is again struck, as in the evening, and so onwards firom 
hour to hour. Some of these watchmen patrol the streets, to observe whether any 
person has a light or fire burning after the hour appointed for extinguishing them. 
Upon making the discovery, they affix a mark to the door, and in the morning 
the owner of the house is taken before the magistrates, by whom, if he cannot 
assign a legitimate excuse for his offence, he is condemned to punishment. Should 
they find any person abroad at an unseasonable hour, they arrest and confine him, 
and in the morning he is carried before the same tribunal. If. in the course of the 
day, they notice any person who from lameness or other infirmity is unable to 
work, they place him in one of the hospitals, of which there are several in every 
part of the city, founded by the ancient kings, and liberally endowed. When cured, 
he is obliged to work at some trade. Immediately upon the appearance of fire 
breaking out in a house, they give the alarm by beating on the wooden machine, 
when the watchmen from all the bridges within a certain distance assemble to 
extinguish it, as well as to save the eflects of the merchants and others, by removing 
them to the stone towers that have been mentioned. The goods are also sometimes 
put into boats, and conveyed to the islands in the lake. Even on such occasions the 
inhabitants dare not stir out of their houses, when the fire happens in the night- 
time, and only those can be present whose goods are actually removing, together 
with the guard collected to assist, which seldom amounts to a smaller number than 
from one to t%vo thousand men. In cases also of tumult or insurrection amongst 
the citizens, the services of this police guard are necessars-; but, independendy of 
them, His Majesty always keeps on foot a large body of troops, both infantry and 
cavalry, in the city and its vicinity, the command of which he gives to his ablest 
officers, and those in whom he can place the greatest confidence, on account of 
the extreme importance of this province, and especially its noble capital, which 
surpasses in grandeur and wealth every other city in the world. For the purposes 
of nightly watch, there are mounds of earth thrown up, at the distance of above 
a mile from each other, on the top of which a wooden frame is constructed, with 
a sounding board, which being struck with a mallet by the guard stationed there, 
the noise is heard to a great distance. If precautions of this nature were not taken 
upon occasions of fire, there would be danger of half the city being consumed ; 
and their use is obvious also in the event of popular commotion, as, upon the 


signal being given, the guards at the several bridges arm themselves, and repair 
to the spot where their presence is required. 

When the Grand Khan reduced to his obedience the province of Manji, which 
until that time had been one kingdom, he thought proper to divide it into nine 
parts [F, has "8 kingdomes"], over each of which he appointed a king or viceroy, 
who should act as supreme governor of that division, and administer justice to the 
people. These make a yearly report to commissioners acting for His Majesty, of 
the amount of the revenue, as well as of every other matter pertaining to their 
jurisdiction. Upon the third year they are changed, as are aU other public officers. 
One of these nine viceroys resides and holds his court in the city of Kin-sai, and 
has authority over more than a hundred and forty cities and towns, all large and 
rich. Nor is this number to be wondered at, considering that in the whole of the 
province of Manji there are no fewer than twelve hundred [F. has "1202"], 
containing a large population of industrious and wealthy inhabitants. In each of 
these, according to its size and other circumstances, His Majesty keeps a garrison, 
consisting, in some places, of a thousand, in others often or twenty thousand men, 
accordingly as he judges the city to be, in its own population, more or less powerful. 
It is not to be understood that all these troops are Tartars. On the contrary, they 
are chiefly natives of the province of Cathay. The Tartars are universally horse- 
men, and cavalry cannot be quartered about those cities which stand in the low, 
marshy parts of the province, but only in firm, dry situations, where such troops 
can be properly exercised. To the former he sends Cathaians, and such men of the 
province of Manji as appear to have a militar)' turn; for it is his practice to make 
an annual selection amongst all his subjects of such as are best qualified to bear 
arms; and these he enrolls to serve in his numerous garrisons, that may be con- 
sidered as so many armies. But the soldiers drawn from the province of Manji he 
does not employ in the duty of their native cities ; on the contrary, he marches 
them to others at the distance of perhaps twenty days' journey, where they are 
continued for four or five years, at the expiration of which they are allowed to 
return to their homes, and others are sent to replace them. This regulation applies 
equally to the Cathaians. The greater part of the revenues of the cities, paid into 
the treasury of the Grand Khan, is appropriated to the maintenance of these 
garrisons. When it happens that a city is in a state of rebellion (and it is not an 
uncommon occurrence for these people, actuated by some sudden exasperation, 
or when intoxicated, to murder their governors) , a part of the garrison of a neigh- 
bouring city is immediately despatched with orders to destroy the place where 
such guilty excesses have been committed ; whereas it would be a tedious operation 
to send an army from another province, that might be two months on its march. 
For such purposes, the city of Kin-sai constantly supports a garrison of thirty 
thousand soldiers ; and the smallest number stationed at any place is one thousand. 

It now remains to speak of a very fine palace that was formerly the residence of 


king Fanfur, whose ancestors enclosed with high walls an extent of ground ten 
miles in compass, and divided it into three parts. That in the centre was entered 
by a lofty portal, on each side of which was a magnificent colonnade, on a flat 
terrace, the roofs of which were supported by rows of pillars, highly ornamented 
with the most beautiful azure and gold. The colormade opposite to the entrance, 
at the further side of the court, was still grander than the others, its roof being 
richly adorned, the pillars gilt, and the walls on the inner side ornamented with 
exquisite paintings, representing the histories of former kings. Here, annually, 
upon certain days consecrated to the service of their idols, king Fanfur was 
accustomed to hold his court, and to entertain at a feast his principal nobles, the 
chief magistrates, and the opulent citizens of Kin-sai. Under these colonnades 
might be seen, at one time, ten thousand persons suitably accommodated at table. 
This festival lasted ten or twelve days, and the magnificence displayed on the 
occasion, in silks, gold, and precious stones, exceeded all imagination; for every 
guest, with a spirit of emulation, endeavoured to exhibit as much finery as his 
circumstances would possibly allow. Behind the colonnade last mentioned, or 
that which fronted the grand portal, there was a wall, with a passage, that divided 
this exterior court of the palace from an interior court, which formed a kind of 
large cloister, with its rows of pillars sustaining a portico that surrounded it, and 
led to various apartments for the use of the king and queen. These pillars were 
ornamented in a similar manner, as were also the walls. From this cloister you 
entered a covered passage or corridor, six paces in width, and of such a length as 
to reach to the margin of the lake. On each side of this there were corresponding 
entrances to ten courts, in the form of long cloisters, surrounded by their porticoes, 
and each cloister or court had fifty apartments, with their respective gardens, the 
residence of a thousand young women, whom the king retained in his service. 
Accompanied sometimes by his queen, and on other occasions by a party of these 
females, it was his custom to take amusement on the lake, in barges covered with 
silk, and to visit the idol temples on its borders. The other two divisions of this 
seraglio were laid out in groves, pieces of water, beautiful gardens stored with 
fruit-trees, and also enclosures for all sorts of animals that are the objects of sport, 
such as antelopes, deer, stags, hares, and rabbits. Here likewise the king amused 
himself, in company with his damsels, some in carriages and some on horseback. 
No male person was allowed to be of these parties, but on the other hand, the 
females were practised in the art of coursing with dogs, and pursuing the animals 
that have been mentioned. When fatigued with these exercises, they retired into 
the groves on the banks of the lake, and there quitting their dresses, rushed into 
the water in a state of nudity, sportively swimming about, some in one direction 
and some in another, whilst the king remained a spectator of the exhibition. After 
this they returned to the palace. Sometimes he ordered his repast to be provided 
in one of these groves, where the foliage of lofty trees afforded a thick shade, and 


was there waited upon by the same damsels. Thus was his time consumed amidst 
the enervating charms of his women, and in profound ignorance of whatever 
related to martial concerns, the consequence of which was, that his depraved 
habits and his pusillanimity enabled the Grand Khan to deprive him of his 
splendid possessions, and to expel him with ignominy from his throne, as has been 
already stated. All these particulars were communicated to me, when I was in 
that city, by a rich merchant of Kin-sai, then very old, who had been a con- 
fidential servant of king Fanfur, and was acquainted with every circumstance of 
his life. Having known the palace in its original state, he was desirous of conducting 
me to view it. Being at present the residence of the Grand Khan's viceroy, the 
colonnades are preserved in the style in which they had formerly subsisted, but 
the chambers of the females had been suffered to go to ruin, and the foundations 
only were visible. The wall likewise that enclosed the park and gardens was fallen 
to decay, and neither animals nor trees were any longer to be found there. 

At the distance of twenty-five miles [F. has "fifteene myles"] from this cit>', 
in a direction to the northward of east, lies the sea, near to which is a town named 
Gan-pu [F. has "Ganfu" and Y. "Ganfu"], where there is an extremely fine port, 
frequented by ail the ships that bring merchandise from India. The river that 
flows past the city of Kin-sai forms this port, at the place where it falls into the sea. 
Boats are continually employed in the conveyance of goods up and down the river, 
and those intended for exportation are there put on board of ships bound to 
various parts of India and of Cathay. 

Marco Polo, happening to be in the city of Kin-sai at the time of making the 
annual report to His Majesty's commissioners of the amount of revenue and the 
number of inhabitants, had an opportunity of obser/ing that the latter were 
registered at one hundred and sixty tomans of fire-places, that is to say, of families 
dwelling under the same roof; and as a toman is ten thousand, it follov»s that tlie 
whole city must have contained one million six hundred thousand families, 
amongst which multitude of people there was only one chxirch of Nestorian 
Christians. Every father of a family, or housekeeper, is required to affix a writing 
to the door of his house, specifying the name of each individual of his family, 
whether male or female, as well as the number of his horses. Wlicn any person 
dies, or leaves the dwelling, the name is struck out, and upon the occasion of a 
birth, it is added to the list. By these means the great officers of the province and 
governors of the cities are at all times acquainted with the exact number of the 
inhabitants. The same regulation is observed throughout the province of Cathay 
as well as of Manji. In like manner, all the keepers of inns and public hotels 
inscribe in a book the names of those who take up their occasional abode with 
them, particularising the day and the hour of their arrival and departure; a copy 
of which is transmitted daily to those magistrates who have been spoken of as 
stationed in the market-squares. It is a custom in the province of Manji, with the 


indigent class of the people, who are unable to support their families, to sell their 
children to the rich, in order that they may be fed and brought up in a better 
manner that their own poverty would admit. 

26. Ramusio III, Ch. i. Marsden, pp. 565-567. Wright, pp. 347-349. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 380, p. 237.] 

Of the Merchant Ships of the Indian Seas 

Having treated, in the preceding parts of our work, of various provinces and 
regions, we shall now take leave of them, and proceed to the account of India, the 
admirable circumstances of which shall be related. We shall commence with 
a description of the ships employed by the merchants, which are built of fir- 
timber. They have a single deck, and below this the space is divided into about 
sixty small cabins, fewer or more, according to the size of the vessels, each of 
them affording accommodation for one merchant. They are provided with a good 
helm. They have four masts, with as many sails, and some of them have two masts 
which can be set up and lowered again, as may be found necessary. Some ships 
of the larger class have, besides (the cabins), to the number of thirteen bulk-heads 
or divisions in the hold, formed of thick planks let into each other {incastrati, 
mortised or rabbeted). The object of these is to guard against accidents which 
may occasion the vessel to spring a leak, such as striking on a rock or receiving 
a stroke from a whale, a circumstance that not unfrequendy occurs; for, when 
sailing at night, the motion through the waves causes a white foam that attracts 
the notice of the hungry animal. In expectation of meeting with food, it rushes 
violently to the spot, strikes the ship, and often forces in some part of the bottom. 
The water, running in at the place where the injury has been sustained, makes 
its way to the well, which is always kept clear. The crew, upon discovering the 
situation of the leak, immediately remove the goods from the division affected by 
the water, which, in consequence of the boards being so well fitted, cannot pass 
from one division to another. They then repair the damage, and return the goods 
to that place in the hold from whence they had been taken. The ships are all 
double-planked; that is, they have a course of sheathing-boards laid over the 
planking in every part. These are caulked with oakum both withinside and without, 
and are fastened with iron nails. They are not coated with pitch, as the country 
does not produce that article, but the bottoms are smeared over with the following 
preparation. The people take quick-lime and hemp, which latter they cut small, 
and with these, when pounded together, they mix oil procured from a certain tree, 
making of the whole a kind of unguent, which retains its viscous properties more 
firmly, and is a better material than pitch. 


Ships of the largest size require a crew of three hundred men; others, two 
hundred ; and some, one hundred and fifty only, according to their greater or less 
bulk. They carry from five to six thousand baskets (or mat bags) of pepper. In 
former times they were of greater burthen than they are at present; but the 
violence of the sea having in many places broken up the islands, and especially 
in some of the principal ports, there is a want of depth of water for vessels of such 
draught, and they have on that account been built, in latter times, of a smaller 
size. The vessels are likewise moved with oars or sweeps, each of which requires 
four men to work it. Those of the larger class are accompanied by two or three 
large barks, capable of containing about one thousand baskets of pepper, and are 
manned with sixty, eighty, or one hundred sailors. These small craft are often 
employed to tow the larger, when working their oars, or even under sail, provided 
the wind be on the quarter, but not when right aft, because, in that case, the sails 
of the larger vessel must becalm those of the smaller, which would, in consequence, 
be run down. The ships also carry with them as many as ten small boats, for the 
purpose of carrying out anchors, for fishing, and a variety of other services. They 
are slung over the sides, and lowered into the water when there is occasion to use 
them. The barks are in like manner provided with their small boats. When a ship, 
having been on a voyage for a year or more, stands in need of repair, the practice 
is to give her a course of sheathing over the original boarding, forming a third 
course, which is caulked and paid in the same manner as the others; and this, 
when she needs further repairs, is repeated, even to the number of six layers, after 
which she is condemned as unserviceable and not sea-worthy. Having thus 
described the shipping, we shall proceed to the account of India; but in the first 
instance we shall speak of certain islands in the part of the ocean where we are 
at present, and shall commence with the island named Zipangu .... 

27. Ramusio III, Ch. xvi. Marsden, pp. 614, 615. Wright, pp. 374, 375. 

[Frampton, Ch. 113 (second half), p. 105; Appendix I. Note 410, p. 244.] 

Of the Kingdom of Fanfur 

Fanfur is a kingdom of the same island, governed by its own prince, where the 
people likewise worship idols, and profess obedience to the Grand Khan. In this 
part of the country a species of camphor, much superior in quality to any other, 
is produced. It is named the camphor of Fanfur, and is sold for its weight in gold. 
There is not any wheat nor other corn, but the food of the inhabitants is rice, with 
milk, and the wine extracted from trees in the manner that has been described in 
the chapter respecting Samara. They have also a tree from which, by a singular 
process, they obtain a kind of meal. The stem is lofty, and as thick as can be grasped 


by two men. When from this the outer bark is stripped, the ligneous substance is 
found to be about three inches in thickness, and the central part is filled with pith, 
which yields a meal or flour, resembling that procured from the acorn. The pith 
is put into vessels filled with water, and is stirred about with a stick, in order that 
the fibres and other impurities may rise to the top, and the pure farinaceous part 
subside to the bottom. When this has been done, the water is poured off, and the 
flour which remains, divested of all extraneous matter, is applied to use, by making 
it into cakes and various kinds of pastry. Of this, which resembles barley bread 
in appearance and taste, Marco Polo has frequently eaten, and some of it he 
brought home with him to Venice. The wood of the tree, in thickness about three 
inches (as has been mentioned), may be compared to iron in this respect, that 
when thrown into water it immediately sinks. It admits of being split in an even 
direction from one end to the other, like the bamboo cane. Of this the natives 
make short lances : were they to be of any considerable length, their weight would 
render it impossible to carry or to use them. They are sharpened at one end, and 
rendered so hard by fire that they are capable of penetrating any sort of armour, 
and in many respects are preferable to iron. What we have said on the subject 
of this kingdom (one of the divisions of the island) is sufficient. Of the other 
kingdoms composing the remaining part we shall not speak, because Marco Polo 
did not visit them. 

28. Rnmusio III, Ch. xx. Marsden, pp. 638-640, 647-648. Wright, 
pp. 388-395. 

[Frampton, Chs. ii6, 117, pp. 107-109; Appendix I. Note 426, p. 248.] 

Of the Province of Maabar 

The country produces no other grain than rice and sesame. The people go to 
battle with lances and shields, but without clothing, and are a despicable unwar- 
like race. They do not kill catde nor any kind of animals for food, but when 
desirous of eating the flesh of sheep or other beasts, or of birds, they procure the 
Saracens, who are not under the influence of the same laws and customs, to per- 
form the office. Both men and women wash their whole bodies in water twice 
every day, that is, in the morning and the evening. Until this ablution has taken 
place they neither eat nor drink; and the person who should neglect this observ- 
ance, would be regarded as a heretic. It ought to be noticed, that in eating they 
make use of the right hand only, nor do they ever touch their food with the left. 
For every cleanly and delicate work they employ the former, and reserve the latter 
for the base uses of personal abstersion, and other offices connected with the 
animal functions. They drink out of a particular kind of vessel, and each individual 


from his own, never making use of the drinking pot of another person. When they 
drink they do not apply the vessel to the mouth, but hold it above the head, and 
pour the liquor into the mouth, not suffering the vessel on any account to touch 
the lips. In giving drink to a stranger, they do not hand their vessel to him, but, 
if he is not provided with one of his own, pour the wine or other liquor into his 
hands, from which he drinks it, as from a cup. 

Offences in this country are punished with strict and exemplary justice, and 
with regard to debtors the following customs prevail. If application for payment 
shall have been repeatedly made by a creditor, and the debtor puts him off from 
time to time with fallacious promises, the former may attach his person by drawing 
a circle round him, from whence he dares not depart until he has satisfied his 
creditor, either by payment, or by giving adequate security. Should he attempt 
to make his escape, he renders himself liable to the punishment of death, as a 
violator of the rules of justice. Messer Marco, when he was in this country on his 
return homeward, happened to be an eye-witness of a remarkable transaction of 
this nature. The king was indebted in a sum of money to a certain foreign mer- 
chant, and although frequently importuned for payment, amused him for a long 
time with vain assurances. One day when the king was riding on horseback, the 
merchant took the opportunity of describing a circle round him and his horse. 
As soon as the king perceived what had been done, he immediately ceased to 
proceed, nor did he move from the spot until the demand of the merchant was 
fully satisfied. The bystanders beheld what passed with admiration, and pro- 
nounced that king to merit the title of most just, who himself submitted to the 
laws of justice. [See Ocean of Story ^ Vol. iii. p. 201 et seq.'] 

These people abstain from drinking wine made from grapes ; and should a person 
be detected in the practice, so disreputable would it be held, that his evidence 
would not be received in court. A similar prejudice exists against persons fre- 
quenting the sea, who, they observe, can only be people of desperate fortunes, and 
whose testimony, as such, ought not to be admitted. They do not hold fornication 
to be a crime. The heat of the country is excessive, and the inhabitants on that 
account go naked. There is no rain excepting in the months of June, July, and 
August, and if it was not for the coolness imparted to the air during these three 
months by the rain, it would be impossible to support life. 

In this country there are many adepts in the science denominated physiognomy, 
which teaches the knowledge of the nature and qualities of men, and whether they 
tend to good or evil. These qualities are immediately discerned upon the appear- 
ance of the man or woman. They also know what events are portended by meeting 
certain beasts or birds. More attention is paid by these people to the flight of 
birds than by any others in the world, and from th'ence they predict good or bad 
fortune. In every day of the week there is one hour which they regard as unlucky, 
and this they name choiach; thus, for example, on Monday the (canonical) hour 


of mi-tierce, on Tuesday the hour of tierce, on Wednesday the hour of none; and on 
these hours they do not make purchases, nor transact any kind of business, being 
persuaded that it would not be attended with success. In like manner they as- 
certain the qualities of every day throughout the year, which are described and 
noted in their books. They judge of the hour of the day by the length of a man's 
shadow when he stands erect. When an infant is born, be it a boy or a girl, the 
father or the mother makes a memorandum in writing of the day of the week on 
which the birth took place ; also of the age of the moon, the name of the month, 
and the hour. This is done because every future act of their lives is regulated by 
astrology. As soon as a son attains the age of thirteen years, they set him at 
liberty, and no longer suffer him to be an inmate in his father's house ; giving him 
to the amount, in their money, of twenty to twenty-four groats. Thus provided, 
they consider him as capable of gaining his own livelihood, by engaging in some 
kind of trade and thence deriving a profit. These boys never cease to run about in 
all directions during the whole course of the day, buying an article in one place, 
and selling it in another. At the season when the pearl fishery is going on, they 
frequent the beach, and make purchases from the fishermen or others, of five, six, 
or more (small) pearls, according to their means, carrying them afterwards to the 
merchants, who, on account of the heat of the sun, remain sitting in their houses, 
and to whom they say: "These pearls have cost us so much; pray allow such a 
profit on them as you may judge reasonable." The merchants then give something 
beyond the price at which they had been obtained. In this way likewise they deal 
in many other articles, and become excellent and most acute traders. When 
business is over for the day, they carry to their mothers the provisions necessary 
for their dinners, which they prepare and dress for them; but these never eat 
anything at their fathers' expense. 

Not only in this kingdom, but throughout India in general, all the beasts and 
birds are unlike those of our own country, excepting the quails, which perfectly 
resemble ours; the others are all different. There are bats as large as vultures, 
and vultures as black as crows, and much larger than ours. Their flight is rapid, 
and they do not fail to seize their bird. 

In their temples there are many idols, the forms of which represent them of the 
male and the female sex; and to these, fathers and mothers dedicate their daughters. 
Having been so dedicated, they are expected to attend whenever the priests of 
the convent require them to contribute to the gratification of the idol ; and on such 
occasions they repair thither, singing and playing on instruments, and adding by 
their presence to the festivity. .These young women are very numerous, and form 
large bands. Several times in the week they carry an offering of victuals to the 
idol to whose service they are devoted, and of this food they say the idol partakes. 
A table for the purpose is placed before it, and upon this the victuals are suffered 
to remain for the space of a full hour; during which the damsels never cease to 


sing, and play, and exhibit wanton gestures. This lasts as long as a person of 
condition would require for making a convenient meal. They then declare that 
the spirit of the idol is content with its share of the entertainment provided, and, 
ranging themselves around it, they proceed to eat in their turn; after which they 
repair to their respective homes. The reason given for assembling the young 
women, and performing the ceremonies that have been described, is this: — The 
priests declare that the male divinity is out of humour with and incensed against 
the female, refusing to have connexion or even to converse with her; and that if 
some measure were not adopted to restore peace and harmony between them, all 
the concerns of the monastery would go to ruin, as the grace and blessing of the 
divinities would be withheld from them. For this purpose it is, they expect the 
votaries to appear in a state of nudity, with only a cloth round their waists, and 
in that state to chaunt hymns to the god and goddess. These people believe that 
the former often solaces himself with the latter. [See Ocean of Story, Vol. i. pp. 

The natives make use of a kind of bedstead, or cot, of very light cane-work, so 
ingeniously contrived that when they repose on them, and are inclined to sleep, 
they can draw close the curtains about them by pulling a string. This they do in 
order to exclude the tarantulas, which bite grievously, as well as to prevent their 
being annoyed by fleas and other small vermin; whilst at the same time the air, 
so necessary for mitigating the excessive heat, is not excluded. Indulgences of this 
nature, however, are enjoyed only by persons of rank and fortune; others of the 
inferior class lie in the open streets. [A large portion of the above is also found 
in Z\ see B. pp. 182-185.] 

29. Ramusio III, Ch. xxm. Marsden, pp. 669, 670. Wright, pp. 405-408. 

[Frampton, Ch. 1 15, p. 106. See Appendix I. Note 435, p. 250.] 

Of the island of Zeilan (Ceylon) 

I AM unwilling to pass over certain particulars which I omitted when before 
speaking of the island of Zeilan, and which I learned when I visited that country 
in my homeward voyage. In this island there is a very high mountain, so rocky 
and precipitous that the ascent to the top is impracticable, as it is said, excepting 
by the assistance of iron chains employed for that purpose. By means of these 
some persons attain the summit, where the tomb of Adam, our first parent, is 
reported to be found. Such is the account given by the Saracens. But the idolaters 
assert that it contains the body of Sogomon-barchan, the founder of their religious 
system, and whom they revere as a holy personage. He was the son of a king of the 
island, who devoted himself to an ascetic life, refusing to accept of kingdoms or 
any other worldly possessions, although his father endeavoured, by the allurements 


of women, and every other imaginable gratification, to divert him from the 
resolution he had adopted. Every attempt to dissuade him was in vain, and the 
yomig man fled privately to this lofty mountain, where, in the observance of 
celibacy and strict abstinence, he at length terminated his mortal career. By the 
idolaters he is regarded as a saint. The father, distracted with the most poignant 
grief, caused an image to be formed of gold and precious stones, bearing the re- 
semblance of his son, and required that all the inhabitants of the island should 
honour and worship it as a deity. Such was the origin of the worship of idols in 
that country; but Sogomon-barchan is still regarded as superior to every other. 
In consequence of this belief, people flock from various distant parts in pilgrimage 
to the mountain on which he was buried. Some of his hair, his teeth, and the 
basin he made use of, are still preserved, and shown with much ceremony. The 
Saracens, on the other hand, maintain that these belonged to the prophet Adam, 
and are in like manner led by devotion to visit the mountain. 

It happened that, in the year 1281, the Grand Khan heard from certain Saracens 
who had been upon the spot, the fame of these relics belonging to our first parent, 
and felt so strong a desire to possess them, that he was induced to send an embassy 
to demand them of the king of Zeilan. After a long and tedious journey, his am- 
bassadors at length reached the place of their destination, and obtained firom the 
king two large back-teeth, together with some of the hair, and a handsome vessel 
of porphyry. When the Grand Khan received intelligence of the approach of the 
messengers, on their return with such valuable curiosities, he ordered aU the 
people of Kanbalu to march out of the city to meet them, and they were conducted 
to his presence with great pomp and solemnity. Having mentioned these particulars 
respecting the mountain of Zeilan, we shall return to the kingdom of Maabar, and 
speak of the city of Kael. 

30. Ramusio III, Ch. xxiv. Marsden^ pp. 674, 675. Wright^ pp. 408-410. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 435, p. 250.J 

Ofthe City of Kael 

Kael is a considerable city, governed by Astiar, one ofthe four brothers, kings 
ofthe country of Maabar, who is rich in gold and jewels, and preserves his country 
in a state of profound peace. On this account it is a favourite place of resort for 
foreign merchants, who are well received and treated by the king. Accordingly 
all the ships coming from the west — as from Ormus, Chisti, Adem, and various 
parts of Arabia — laden with merchandise and horses, make this port, which is 
besides well situated for commerce. The prince maintains in the most splendid 
manner not fewer than three hundred women. 


All the people of this city, as well as the natives of India in general, are addicted 
to the custom of having continually in their mouths the leaf called tembul; which 
they do, partly from habit, and partly from the gratification it affords. Upon 
chewing it, they spit out the saliva to which it gives occasion. Persons of rank 
have the leaf prepared with camphor and other aromatic drugs, and also with 
a mixture of quick Ume. I have been told that it is extremely conducive to health. 
If it is an object with any man to affront another in the grossest and most con- 
temptuous manner, he spits the juice of this masticated leaf in his face. Thus 
insulted, the injured party hastens to the presence of the king, states the circum- 
stances of his grievance, and declares his willingness to decide the quarrel by 
combat. The king thereupon fmnishes them with arms, consisting of a sword and 
small shield ; and all the people assemble to be spectators of the conflict, which 
lasts till one of them remains dead on the field. They are, however, forbidden to 
wound with the point of the sword. [See Ocean of Story, Vol. vin, pp. 237-319.] 

31. Ramusio III, Chs. xli, XLn, xlhi and xliv. Marsden, pp. 728, 729, 
733> 734. 735» 737-739- bright, pp. 440-449. 

[Omitted in Frampton. See Appendix I. Note 465, p. 256.] 

The Ramusian chapter-headings are given consecutively : 


Of the City ofEscier 

The niler of this city is a Mahometan, who governs it with exemplary justice, 
under the superior authority of the sultan of Aden. Its distance from thence is 
about forty miles to the south-east. Subordinate to it there are many towns and 
casdes. Its port is good, and it is visited by many trading ships from India, which 
carry back a number of excellent horses, highly esteemed in that country, and sold 
there at considerable prices. 

This district produces a large quantity of white frankincense of the first quality, 
which distils, drop by drop, from a certain small tree that resembles the fir. The 
people occasionally tap the tree, or pare away the bark, and from the incision the 
frankincense gradually exudes, which afterwards becomes hard. Even when an 
incision is not made, an exudation is perceived to take place, in consequence of 
the excessive heat of the climate. There are also many palm-trees, which produce 
good dates in abundance. No grain excepting rice and millet is cultivated in this 
country, and it becomes necessary to obtain supplies from other parts. There is 
no wine made from grapes ; but they prepare a liquor from rice, sugar, and dates, 
that is a dehcious beverage. They have a small breed of sheep, the ears of which 
are not situated like those in others of the species; two small horns growing in the 


place of them, and lower do\*^T3, towards the nose, there are two orifices that serve 
the piirpose of ears. 

These people are great fishermen, and catch the tunny in such numbers, that 
two may be purchased for a Venetian groat. They dry them in the sun; and as, 
by reason of the extreme heat, the country is in a manner burnt up, and no sort 
of vegetable is to be seen, they accustom their cattle, cows, sheep, camels, and 
horses, to feed upon dried fiish, which being regularly served to them, they eat 
without any signs of dislike. The fish used for this purpose are of a small kind, 
which they take in vast quantities during the months of March, April, and May; 
and when dried, they lay up in their houses for the food of their cattie. These will 
also feed upon the fresh fish, but are more accustomed to eat them in the dried 
state. In consequence also of the scarcity of grain, the natives make a kind of 
biscuit of the substance of the larger fish, in the following manner: they chop it 
into very small particles, and moisten the preparation with a liquor rendered 
thick and adhesive by a mixture of flour, which gives to the whole the consistence 
of paste. This they form into a kind of bread, which they dry and harden by ex- 
posure to a burning sun. A stock of this biscuit is laid up to serve them for the year's 
consumption. The frankincense before mentioned is so cheap in the country as 
to be purchased by the governor at the rate often besants (gold ducats) the quintal, 
who sells it again to the merchants at forty besants. This he does under the direction 
of the soldan of Aden, who monopolises all that is produced in the district at the 
above price, and derives a large profit from the re-sale. Nothing further presenting 
itself at this place, we shall now speak of the city of Dulfar. 


Ofthe City of Dulfar 

Dulfar is a large and respectable city or town, at the distance of twenty miles 
from Escier, in a south-easterly direction. Its inhabitants are Mahometans, and 
its ruler also is a subject ofthe soldan of Aden. This place lies near the sea, and has 
a good port, frequented by many ships. Numbers of Arabian horses are collected 
here firom the inland country, which the merchants buy up and carry to India, 
where they gain considerably by disposing of them. Frankincense is likewise 
produced here, and purchased by the merchants. Dulfar has other towns and 
castles under its jurisdiction. We shall now speak of the giilf of Kalayati. 


Of the City of Kalayati 

Kalayati is a large town situated near a gulf which has the name of Kalatu, 
distant from Dulfar about fifty miles towards the south-east. The people are 
followers of the law of Mahomet, and are subjects to the melik of Ormus, who. 


when he is attacked and hard pressed by another power, has recourse to the pro- 
tection afforded by this city, which is so strong in itself, and so advantageously 
situated, that it has never yet been taken by an enemy. The country around it 
not yielding any kind of grain, it is imported from other districts. Its harbour is 
good, and many trading ships arrive there from India, which sell their piece-goods 
and spiceries to great advantage, the demand being considerable for the supply 
of towns and castles lying at a distance from the coast. These likewise carry away 
freights of horses, which they sell advantageously in. India. 

The fortress is so situated at the entrance of the gulf of Kalatu, that no vessel 
can come in or depart without its permission. Occasionally it happens that the 
melik of this cit)% who is under certain engagements with, and is tributary to the 
king of Kermain, throws off his allegiance in consequence of the latter's imposing 
some unusual contribution. Upon his refusing to pay the demand, and an army 
being sent to compel him, he departs from Ormus, and makes his stand at Kalayati, 
where he has it in his power to prevent any ship from entering or sailing. By this 
obstruction of the trade the king of Kermain is deprived of his duties, and being 
thereby much injured in his revenue, is constrained to accommodate the dispute 
with the melik. The strong castle at this place constitutes, as it were, the key, not 
only of the gulf, but also of the sea itself, as fi-om thence the ships that pass can at 
all times be discovered. The inhabitants in general of this country subsist upon 
dates and upon fish, either firesh or salted, having constantiy a large supply of 
both ; but persons of rank, and those who can afford it, obtain com for their use 
from other parts. Upon leaving Kalayati, and proceeding three hundred miles 
towards the north-east, you reach the island of Ormus. 


Of Ormus 

Upon the island of Ormus there is a handsome and large cit>', built close to the 
sea. It is governed by a melik, which is a title equivalent to that of lord of the 
marches with us, and he has many towns and castles under his authority. The 
inhabitants are Saracens, all of them professing the faith of Mahomet. The heat 
that reigno here is extreme; but in every house they are provided with ventilators, 
by means of which they introduce air to the different floors, and into every 
apartment, at pleasure. Without this resource it would be impossible to live in 
the place. We shall not now say more of this city, as in a former book we have 
given an account of it, together with Kisi and Kerman. 

Having thus treated sufficiently at length of those provinces and cities of the 
Greater India which are situated near the sea-coast, as well as of some of the 
countries of Ethiopia, termed the Middle India, I shall now, before I bring the 


work to a conclusion, step back, in order to notice some regions lying towards the 
north, which I omitted to speak of in the preceding books. 

It should be known, therefore, that in the northern parts of the world there dwell 
many Tartars, under a chief of the name of Kaidu, who is of the race of Jengiz- 
khan, and nearly related to Kublai, the Grand Khan. He is not the subject of 
any other prince. The people observe the usages and manners of their ancestors, 
and are regarded as genuine Tartars. These Tartars are idolators, and worship 
a god whom they call Naagai, that is, the god of earth, because they think and 
believe that this their god has dominion over the earth, and over all things that 
are born of it ; and to this their false god they make idols and images of felt, as is 
described in a former book. Their king and his armies do not shut themselves up 
in castles or strong places, ncr even in towns ; but at all times remain in the open 
plains, the valleys, or the woods, with which this region abounds. They have no 
com of any kind, but subsist upon flesh and milk, and live amongst each other in 
perfect harmony; their king, to whom they all pay implicit obedience, having no 
object dearer to him than that of preserving peace and union amongst his subjects, 
which is the essential duty of a sovereign. They possess vast herds of horses, cows, 
sheep, and other domestic animals. In these northern districts are found bears 
of a white colour, and of prodigious size, being for the most part about twenty 
spans in length. There are foxes also whose furs are entirely black, wild asses in 
great numbers, and certain small animals named rondes, which have most delicate 
furs, and by our people are called zibelines or sables. Besides these there are 
various small beasts of the marten or weasel kind, and those which bear the name 
of Pharaoh's mice. The swarms of the latter are incredible; but the Tartars employ 
such ingenious contrivances for catching them, that none can escape their hands. 

In order to reach the country inhabited by these people, it is necessary to per- 
form a journey of fourteen days across a wide plain, entirely uninhabited and 
desert — a state that is occasioned by innumerable collections of water and springs, 
that render it an entire marsh. This, in consequence of the long duration of the 
cold season, is frozen over, excepting for a few months of the year, when the sun 
dissolves the ice, and turns the soil to mud, over which it is more difficult and 
fatiguing to travel than when the whole is frozen. For the purpose, however, of 
enabling the merchants to frequent their country, and purchase their furs, in which 
all their trade consists, these people have exerted themselves to render the marshy 
desert passable for travellers, by erecting at the end of each day's stage a wooden 
house, raised some height above the ground, where persons are stationed, whose 
business it is to receive and accommodate the merchants, and on the following day 
to conduct them to the next station of this kind ; and thus they proceed from stage 
to stage, until they have effected the passage of the desert. In order to travel over 
the frozen surface of the ground, they construct a sort of vehicle, not unlike that 
made use of by the natives of the steep and almost inaccessible mountains in the 


vicinity of our own country, and which is termed a tragula or sledge. It is without 
wheels, is flat at bottom, but rises with a semi-circular curve in front, by which 
construction it is fitted for running easily upon the ice. For drawing these small 
carriages they keep in readiness certain animals resembling dogs, and which may 
be called such, although they approach to the size of asses. They are very strong 
and inured to the draught. Six of them, in couples, are harnessed to each carriage, 
which contains only the driver who manages the dogs, and one merchant, with 
his package of goods. When the day's journey has been performed he quits it, 
together with that set of dogs, and thus changing both, from day to day, he at 
length accomplishes his journey across the desert, and afterwards carries with him 
(in his return) the furs that find their way, for sale, to our part of the world. 

32. The following chapters are taken from Wright's edition of Marsderif 
pp. 453-471, where they form Chs. xlvii-lxxi. They are not in 
Ramusioy but are found in the French editions. 

Pauthier and Yule made them into Book iv, while in Benedetto 
they occupy chapters cc-ccxxxrv. The "Conclusion" is from the 
Crusca version (see Y. Vol. 11, pp. 500, 501). 


Of Great Turkey 

I N Great Turkey there is a king called Kaidu, who is the nephew of the Grand 
Khan, for he was son of the son of Ciagatai, who was brother to the Grand Khan. 
He possesses many cities and castles, and is a very great lord. He is Tartar, and 
his men also are Tartar, and they are good warriors, which is no wonder, for they 
are all men brought up to war; and I tell you that this Kaidu never gave obedi- 
ence to the Grand Khan, without first making great war. And you must know 
that this Great Turkey lies to the north-west when we leave Ormus, by the way 
already mentioned. Great Turkey is beyond the river Ion, and stretches out north- 
ward to the territory of the Grand Khan. This Kaidu has already fought many 
battles with the people of the Grand Khan, and I will relate to you how he came 
to quarrel with him. You must know for a truth that Kaidu sent word one day to 
the Grand Khan that he wanted his part of what they had obtained by conquest, 
claiming a part of the province of Cathay and of that of Manji. The Grand Khan 
told him that he was quite willing to give him his share, as he had done to his other 
sons, if he, on his part, would repair to his court and attend his council as often 
as he sent for him; and the Grand Khan willed further, that he should obey him 
like the others his sons and his barons ; and on this condition the Grand Khan said 
that he would give him part of their conquest (of China). Kaidu, who distrusted 
his uncle the Grand Khan, rejected this condition, saying that he was willing to 


yield him obedience in his own country, but that he would not go to his court for 
any consideration, as he feared lest he should be put to death. Thus originated the 
quarrel between the Grand Khan and Kaidu, which led to a great war, and there 
were many great battles between them. And the Grand Khan posted an army 
round the kingdom of Kaidu, to prevent him or his people from committing any 
injury to his territory or people. But, in spite of all these precautions of the Grand 
Khan, Kaidu invaded his territory, and fought many times with the forces sent 
to oppose him. Now king Kaidu, by exerting himself, could bring into the field 
a hundred thousand horsemen, all good men, and well trained to war and battle. 
And moreover he has with him many barons of the lineage of the emperor, that 
is of Jengis-khan, who was the founder of the empire. We will now proceed to 
narrate certain battles between Kaidu and the Grand Khan's people; but first 
we will describe their mode of fighting. When they go to war, each is obliged to 
carr^' with him sixty arrows, thirty of which are of a smaller size, intended for 
shooting at a distance, but the other thirty are larger, and have a broad blade; 
these they use near at hand, and strike their enemies in the faces and arms, and 
cut the strings of their bows, and do great damage with them. And when they have 
discharged all their arrows, they take their swords and maces, and give one 
another heav^^ blows with them. 

In the year 1 266, this king Kaidu, with his cousins, one of whom was called 
Jesudar, assembled a vast number of people, and attacked two of the Grand Khan's 
barons, who also were cousins of king Kaidu, though they held their lands of the 
Grand Khan. One of these was named Tibai or Ciban. They were sons of Cia- 
gatai, who had received Christian baptism, and was own brother to the Grand 
Khan Kublai. Well, Kaidu with his people fought with these his two cousins, who 
also had a great army, for on both sides there were about a hundred thousand 
horsemen. They fought very hard together, and there were many slain on both 
sides; but at last king Kaidu gained the victory, and did great damage to the 
others. But the two brothers, the cousins of king Kaidu, escaped without hurt, 
for they had good horses, which bore them away with great swiftness. Having thus 
gained the victory, Kaidu's pride and arrogance increased ; and he returned into 
his own country, where he remained full two years in peace, without any hostilities 
between him and the Grand Khan. But at the end of two years Kaidu again 
assembled a great army. He knew that the Grand Khan's son, named Nomogan, 
was at Caracorum, and that with him was George the grandson of Prester John, 
which two barons had also a very great army of horsemen. King Kaidu, having 
assembled his host, marched from his own country, and, without any occurrence 
worth mentioning, arrived in the neighbourhood of Caracorum, where the two 
barons, the son of the Grand Khan and the grandson of Prester John, were with 
their army. The latter, instead of being frightened, prepared to meet them with 
the utmost ardour and courage; and having assembled their whole army, which 


consisted of not less than sixty thousand horsemen, they marched out and established 
their camp very well and orderly at a distance of about ten miles from king Kaidu, 
who was encamped with his men in the same plain. Each party remained in their 
camp till the third day, preparing for battle in the best way they could, for their 
numbers were about equal, neither exceeding sixty thousand horsemen, well 
armed with bows and arrows, and a sword, mace, and shield to each. Both armies 
were divided into six squadrons of ten thousand men each, and each having its 
commander. And when the two armies were drawn up in the field, and waited 
only for the signal to be given by sounding the nacar, they sang and sounded their 
instruments of music in such a manner that it was wonderful to hear. For the 
Tartars are not allowed to commence a battle till they hear the nacars of their lord 
begin to sound, but the moment it sounds they begin to fight; and it is their 
custom, while thus waiting the signsJ of battle, to sing and sound their two-corded 
instruments very sweetly, and make great solace. As soon as the sound of the 
nacars was heard, the battle began, and they put tJieir hands to their bows, and 
placed the arrows to the strings. In an instant the air was filled with arrows like 
rain, and you might see many a man and many a horse struck down dead, and 
the shouting and the noise of the battle v/as so great, that one could hardly have 
heard God's thunder. In truth, they fought like mortal enemies. And truly, as 
long as they had any arrows left, those who were able ceased not to shoot; but so 
many were slain and mortally wounded, that the battle commenced propitiously 
for neither party. And when they had cxliausted their arrows, they placed the 
bows in their cases, and seized tt^ieir swords and maces, and, rushing upon each 
other, began to give terrible blows with them. Thus they began a very fierce and 
dreadful battle, with such execution upon each other, that the ground was soon 
covered with corpses. Kaidu especially performed great feats of arms, and but 
for his personal prowess, which restored courage to his followei"s, they were several 
times nearly defeated. And on the other side, the son of the Grand KJian and the 
grandson of Prester John also behaved themselves with great bravery. In a word, 
this was one of the most sanguinary battles that had ever taken place among the 
Tartars; for it lasted tJil nightfall; and in spite of all their etiorts, neither party 
could drive the other from the field, which was covered with so many corpses that 
it was pity to see, and many a lady that day was made a widow, and many a child 
an orphan. ^\nd when the sun set, both parties gave over fightiiig, and returned 
to their several camps to repose during the night. Next morning, king Kaidu, 
v/ho had received information that the Grand Khan had sent a very poweiful army 
against him, put his men under arms at daybreak, and, all having mounted, he 
ordered them to proceed homewards. Their opponents v.ere so v/eary with the 
previous day's battle, that they made no attempt to follov/ them, but let them go 
without molestation. Kaidu's men continued their retreat^ 'intii they came to 
Samarcand, in Great Turkey. 



What the Grand Khan said of the injuries done to him by Kaidu 

Now the Grand Khan was greatly enraged against Kaidu, who was always 
doing so much injury to his people and his territory, and he said in himself, tha.t 
if he had not been his nephew, he should not have escaped an evil death. But his 
feelings of relationship hindered him from destroying him and his land ; and thus 
Kaidu escaped from the hands of the Grand Khan. We will now leave this matter, 
and we will tell you a strange history of king Kaidu's daughter. 


Of the daughter of King Kaidu, how strong and 
vaHant she was 

You must know, then, that king Kaidu had a daughter named, in the Tartar 
language, Aigiarm, which means shining moon. This damsel was so strong, that 
there was no young man in the whole kingdom who could overcome her, but she 
vanquished them all. Her father the king wished to marry her; but she declined, 
saying, that she would never take a husband till she met with some gendeman who 
should conquer her by force, upon which the king, her father, gave her a written 
promise that she might marry at her own will. She now caused it to be proclaimed 
in different parts of the world, that if any young man would come and try strength 
with her, and should overcome her by force, she would accept him for her husband. 
This proclamation was no sooner made, than many came from all parts to try 
their fortune. The trial was made with great solemnity. The king took his place 
in the principal hall of the palace, with a large company of men and women ; then 
came the king's daughter, in a dress of cendal, very richly adorned, into the middle 
of the hall; and next came the young man, also in a dress of cendal. The agreement 
was, that if the young man overcame her so as to throw her by force to the ground, 
he was to have her for wife ; but if, on the contrary, he should be overcome by the 
king's daughter, he was to forfeit to her a hundred horses. In this manner the 
damsel gained more than ten thousand horses, for she could meet with no one able 
to conquer her, which was no wonder, for she was so well-made in all her limbs, 
and so tall and strongly built, that she might almost be taken for a giantess. At 
last, about the year 1280, there came the son of a rich king, who was very beautiful 
and young; he was accompanied with a very fine retinue, and brought with him 
a thousand beautiful horses. Immediately on his arrival, he announced that he 
was come to try his strength with the lady. King Kaidu received him very gladly, 
for he was very desirous to have this youth for his son-in-law, knowing him to be 
the son of the king of Pamar; on which account, Kaidu privately told his daughter 


that he wished her on this occasion to let herself be vanquished. But she said she 
would not do so for anything in the world. Thereupon the king and queen took 
their places in the hall, with a great attendance of both sexes, and the king's 
daughter presented herself as usual, and also the king's son, who was remarkable 
no less for his beauty than for his great strength. Now when they were brought 
into the hall, it was, on account of the superior rank of the claimant, agreed as the 
conditions of the trial, that if the young prince were conquered, he should forfeit 
the thousand horses he had brought with him as his stake. This agreement having 
been made, the wrestling began; and all who were there, including the king and 
queen, wished heartily that the prince might be the victor, that he might be the 
husband of the princess. But, contrary to their hopes, after much pulling and 
tugging, the king's daughter gained the victory, and the young prince was thrown 
on the pavement of the palace, and lost his thousand horses. There was not one 
person in the whole hall who did not lament his defeat. After this the king took 
his daughter with him into many battles, and not a cavalier in the host displayed 
so much valour; and at last the damsel rushed into the midst of the enemy, and 
seizing upon a horseman, carried him off to her own people. We will now quit 
this episode, and proceed to relate a great battle which fell out between Kaidu 
and Argon, the son of Abaga the lord of the east. [For the amazon, see Chauvin, 
Bib. des Ouvrages Arabes, vi, p. 112, viii, p. 55; and Clouston, Book of Sindibddy 
pp. 322 et seq.'\ 


How Abaga sent Argon his son with an army 

Now Abaga, the lord of the east, held many provinces and many lands, which 
bordered on the territory of king Kaidu, on the side towards the tree which is called 
in the book of Alexander, Arbor Secco. And Abaga, in consequence of the damages 
done to his lands by king Kaidu, sent his son Argon with a very great number of 
horsemen into the country of Arbor Secco, as far as the river Ion, where they 
remained to protect the country against king Kaidu's people. In this manner 
Argon and his men remained in the plain of the Arbor Secco, and garrisoned many 
cities and castles thereabouts. Thereupon king Kaidu assembled a great number 
of horsemen, and gave the command of them to his brother Barac, a prudent and 
brave man, with orders to fight Argon. Barac promised to fulfil his commandment, 
and to do his best against Argon and his army; and he marched with his army, 
which was a very numerous one, and proceeded for many days without meeting 
with any accident worth mentioning, till he reached the river Ion, where he was 
only ten miles distant from the army of Argon. Both sides immediately prepared 
for battle, and in a very fierce engagement, which took place three days afterwards, 
the army of Barac was overpowered, and pursued with great slaughter over the 



How Argon succeeded his father in the sovereignty 

Soon after this victory, Argon received intelligence that his father Abaga was 
dead, for which he was very sorrowful, and he set out with all his host on his way 
to his father's court, a distance of forty days' journey, in order to receive the 
sovereignty. Now Abaga had a brother named Acomat Soldan, who had become 
a Saracen, and who no sooner heard of his brother Abaga's death, than he formed 
the design of seizing the succession for himself, considering that Argon was at too 
great a distance to prevent him. He therefore collected a powerful army, went 
direct to the court of his brother Abaga, and seized upon the sovereignty. There he 
found such an immense quantity of treasure as could hardly be believed, and by 
distributing this very lavishly among Abaga's barons and knights, he gained so far 
upon their hearts, that they declared they would have no other lord but him. 
Moreover, Acomat Soldan showed himself a very good lord, and made himself 
beloved by everybody. But he had not long enjoyed his usurped power, when news 
came that Argon was approaching with a very great host. Acomat showed no 
alarm, but courageously summoned his barons and others, and within a week he 
had assembled a vast number of cavalry, who all declared that they were ready to 
march against Argon, and that they desired nothing more than to take him and 
put him to death. 


How Acomat went with his host to fight Argon 

When Acomat Soldan had collected full sixty thousand horsemen, he set out 
on his way to encounter Argon and his people, and at the end of ten days' march 
he halted, having received intelUgence that the enemy was only five days' march 
from him, and equal in number to his own army. Then Acomat established his 
camp in a very great and fair plain, and announced his intention of awaiting his 
enemy there, as a favourable place for giving battle. As soon as he arranged his 
camp, he called together his people, and addressed them as follows: "Lords," said 
he, "you know well how I ought to be liege lord of all which my brother Abaga 
held, because I was the son of his father, and I assisted in the conquest of all the 
lands and territories we possess. It is true that Argon was the son of my brother 
Abaga, and that some pretend that the succession would go of right to him ; but, 
with all respect to those who hold this opinion, I say that they are in the wrong, 
for as his father held the whole of so great a lordship, it is but just that I should 
have it after his death, who ought rightly to have had half of it during his life, 
though by my generosity he was allowed to retain the whole. But since it is as 
I tell you, pray, let us defend our right against Argon, that the kingdom and 
lordship may remain to us all; for I assure you that all I desire for myself is the 


honour and renown, while you have the profit and the goods and lordships through 

all our lands and provinces. I will say no more, for I know that you are wise men 

and love justice, and that you will act for the honour and good of us all." When he 

had ended, all the barons, and knights, and others who were there, replied with 

one accord that they would not desert him as long as they had life in their bodies, 

and that they would aid him against all men whatever, and especially against 

Argon, adding that they feared not but they should take him and deliver him into 

his hands. After this, Acomat and his army remained in their camp, waiting the 

approach of the enemy. 


How Argon held council with his Barons before 
encountering Acomat 

To return to Argon; as soon as he received certain intelligence of the movements 
of Acomat, and knew that he was encamped with so large an army, he was greatly 
affected, but he thought it wise to show courage and ardour before his men. 
Having called all his barons and wise counsellors into his tent, for he was encamped 
also in a very far spot, he addressed them as follows: "Fair brothers and friends," 
said he, "you know well how tenderly my father loved you; while alive he treated 
you as brothers and sons, and you know in how many battles you were with him, 
and how you helped him to conquer the land he possessed. You know, too, that 
I am the son of him who loved you so much, and I myself love you as though you 
were my own body. It is just and right, therefore, that you aid me against him 
who comes contrary to justice and right to disinherit us of our land. And you 
know further how he is not of our law, but that he has abandoned it, and has 
become a Saracen and worships Mahomet, and it would ill become us to let 
Saracens have lordship over Tartars. Now, fair brethren and friends, all these 
reasons ought to give you courage and will to do your utmost to prevent such an 
occurrence ; wherefore I implore each of you to show himself a valiant man, and 
to put forth all his ardour that we may conquer in the battle, and that the sove- 
reignty may belong to you and not to Saracens. And truly every one ought to 
reckon on victory, since justice is on our side, and our enemies are in the wrong. 
I will say no more, but again to implore every one of you to do his duty." 


How the Barons replied to Argon 

When the barons and knights who were present had heard Argon's address, each 
resolved that he would prefer death in the battle to defeat; and while they stood 
silent, reflecting on his words, one of the great barons rose and spoke thus: "Fair 
sir Argon, fair sir Argon," said he; "we know well that what you have said to 


US is the truth, and therefore I will be spokesman for all your men who are with 
you to fight this battle, and tell you openly that we will not fail you as long as 
we have life in our bodies, and that we would rather all die than not obtain the 
victory. We feel confident that we shall vanquish your enemies, on account of 
the justice of our cause, and the wrong which they have done; and therefore 
I counsel that we proceed at once against them, and I pray all our companions 
to acquit themselves in such a manner in this battle, that all the world shall talk 
of them." When this man had ended, all the others declared that they were of his 
opinion, and the whole army clamoured to be led against the enemy without delay. 
Accordingly, early next morning, Argon and his people began their march with 
very resolute hearts, and when they reached the extensive plain in which Acomat 
was encamped, they established their camp in good order at a distance of about 
ten miles from him. As soon as he had encamped, Argon sent two trusty messengers 
on a mission to his uncle. 


How Argon sent his messengers to Acomat 

When these two trusty messengers, who were men of very advanced age, 
arrived at the enemy's camp, they dismounted at Acomat's tent, where he was 
attended by a great company of his barons, and having entered it, they saluted 
him courteously. Acomat, who knew them well, received them with the same 
courtesy, told them they were welcome, and made them sit down before him. After 
they had remained seated a short space, one of the messengers rose up on his feet 
and delivered his message as follows: "Fair sir Acomat," said he, "your nephew 
Argon wonders much at your conduct in taking from him his sovereignty, and 
now again in coming to engage him in mortal combat; truly this is not well, nor 
have you acted as a good uncle ought to act towards his nephew. Wherefore he 
informs you by us that he prays you gently, as that good uncle and father, that 
you restore him his right, so that there be no battle between you, and he will show 
you all honour, and you shall be lord of all his land under him. This is the message 
which your nephew sends you by us." 


Acomat's reply to the message of Argon 

When Acomat Soldan had heard the message of his nephew Argon, he replied 
as follows: " Sir Messenger," said he, "what my nephew says amounts to nothing, 
for the land is mine and not his; I conquered it as well as his father; and therefore 
tell my nephew that if he will, I will make him a great lord, and I will give him 
land enough, and he shall be as my son, and the highest in rank after me. And if 


he will not, you may assure him that I will do all in my power to put him to death. 
Now this is what I will do for my nepheWj and no other thing or other arrange- 
ment shall you ever have from me." When Acomat had concluded, the messengers 
asked again, "Is this all the answer which we shall have?" "Yes," said he, "you 
shall have no other as long as I live." The messengers immediately departed, and 
riding as fast as they could to Argon's camp, dismounted at his tent and told him 
all that had passed. When Argon heard his uncle's message, he was so enraged, 
that he exclaimed in the hearing of all who were near him, "Since I have received 
such injury and insult from my uncle, I will never live or hold land if I do not 
take such vengeance that all the world shall talk of it!" After these words, he 
addressed his barons and knights: "Now we have nothing to do but to go forth 
as quickly as we can and put these faithless traitors to death; and it is my will that 
we attack them to-morrow morning, and do our utmost to destroy them." All 
that night they made preparations for battle; and Acomat Soldan, who knew well 
by his spies what were Argon's designs, prepared for battle also, and admonished 
his people to demean themselves with valour. 


The battle between Argon and Acomat 

Next morning, Argon, having called his men to arms and drawn them up 
skilfully in order of battle, addressed to them an encouraging admonition, after 
which they advanced towards the enemy. Acomat had done the same, and the 
two armies met on their way and engaged without further parley. The battle began 
with a shower of arrows so thick that it seemed like rain from heaven, and you 
might see everywhere the riders cast from the horses, and the cries and groans of 
those who lay on the earth mortally wounded were dreadful to hear. When they 
had exhausted their arrows, they took to their swords and clubs, and the battle 
became so fierce and the noise so great that you could hardly have heard God's 
thunder. The slaughter was very great on both sides; but at last, though Argon 
himself displayed extraordinary valour, and set an example to all his men, it was 
in vain, for fortune turned against him, and his men were compelled to fly, closely 
pursued by Acomat and his men, who made great havoc of them. And in the 
flight Argon himself was captured, upon which the pursuit was abandoned, and 
the victors returned to their camp and tents, glad beyond measure. Acomat caused 
his nephew. Argon, to be confined and closely guarded, and, being a man given 
to his pleasures, he returned to his court to enjoy the society of the fair ladies who 
were there, leaving the command of the army to a great melic, or chief, with strict 
orders to keep Argon closely guarded, and to follow him to court by short marches, 
so as not to fatigue his men. 



How Argon was liberated 

Now it happened that a great Tartar baron, who was of great age, took pity on 
Argon, and said in himself that it was a great wickedness and disloyalty thus to 
hold their lord a prisoner, and that he would do his best to set him free. He began 
by persuading many other barons to adopt the same sentiments, and his personal 
influence, on account of his age and known character for justice and wisdom, was 
so great, that he easily gained them over to the enterprise, and they promised to 
be directed by him. The name of the leader of this enterprise was Boga, and the 
chief of his fellow-conspirators were named Elcidai, Togan, Tegana, Taga, Tiar 
Oulatai, and Samagar. With these, Boga went to the tent where Argon was con- 
fined, and told liim that they repented of the part they had taken against him, 
and that in reparation of their error they had come to set him free and take him 
for their lord. 


How Argon recovered the sovereignty 

When Argon heard Boga's words, he thought at first that they came to mock 
him, and was very angry and cross. " Fair sirs," said he, " you sin gready in making 
me an object of mockery, and ought to be satisfied with the wrong you have already 
done me in imprisoning your rightful lord. You know that you are behaving 
wrongfully, and therefore I pray go your way and mock me no more." "Fair Sir 
Argon," said Boga, "be assured that we are not mocking you at all, but what we 
say is quite true, and we swear to it upon our faith." Then all the barons took an 
oath that they would hold him for their lord. And Argon on his side swore that 
he would never trouble them for what was past, but that he would hold them all 
as dear as his father Abaga had done. And as soon as these mutual oaths had been 
taken, they took Argon out of prison, and received him as their lord. Then Argon 
told them to shoot their arrows at the tent in which the melic who had the com- 
mand of the army was, and they did so, and thus the melic was slain. This melic 
was named Soldan, and was the greatest lord after Acomat. Thus Argon recovered 
the sovereignty. 


How Argon caused his Uncle Acomat to be put to death 

And when Argon found that he was assured of the sovereignty, he gave orders 
to the army to commence its march towards the court. It happened one day that 
Acomat was at court in his principal palace making great festivity, when a messen- 
ger came to him and said : " Sir, I bring you news, not such as I would, but very 
evil. Know that the barons have delivered Argon and raised him to the sovereignty. 


and have slain Soldan, your dear friend; and I assure you that they are hastening 
hither to take and slay you; take counsel immediately what is best to be done." 
When Acomat heard this, he was at first so overcome with astonishment and fear 
that he knew not what to do or say; but at last, like a brave and prudent man, he 
told the messenger to mention the news to no one, and hastily ordered his most 
trusty followers to arm and mount their horses; telling nobody whither he was 
going, he took the route to go to the Sultan of Babilonia, believing that there his 
life would be safe. At the end of six days he arrived at a pass which could not be 
avoided, the keeper of which knew that it was Acomat, and perceived that he was 
seeking safety by flight. This man determined to take him, which he might easily 
do, as he was slightly attended. When Acomat was thus arrested, he made great 
entreaty, and offered great treasure to be allowed to go free; but the keeper of 
the pass, who was a zealous partizan of Argon, replied that all the treasure in the 
world should not hinder him from doing his duty towards his rightful lord. He 
accordingly placed Acomat under a strong guard, and marching with him to the 
court, arrived there just three days after Argon had taken possession of it, who 
was greatly mortified that Acomat had escaped. When therefore Acomat was 
delivered to him a prisoner, he was in the greatest joy imaginable, and command- 
ing the army to be assembled immediately, without consulting with anybody, he 
ordered one of his men to slay his uncle, and to throw his body into such place as 
it would never be seen again, which order was immediately executed. Thus ended 
the affair between Argon and his uncle Acomat. 


The death of Argon 

When Argon had done all this, and had taken possession of the principal palace 
with the sovereignty, all the barons who had been in subjection to his father came 
to perform their homages as to their lord, and obeyed it as such in everything. 
And after this. Argon sent Gasan, his son, with full thirty thousand horsemen, to 
the Arbor Secco, which is in that country, to protect his land and people. Argon 
thus recovered his sovereignty in the year 1286 of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, 
and Acomat had held the sovereignty two years. Argon reigned six years, at the 
end of which he died, as was generally said, by poison. 


How Quiacatu seized upon the sovereignty after 
the death of Argon 

When Argon was dead, his uncle, named Quiacatu, seized upon the sovereignty, 
which he was enabled to do with the more ease in consequence of Casan being so 
far distant as the Arbor Secco. Casan was gready angered when he heard of the 


death of his father and of the usurpation of Quiacatu, but he could not leave his 
post at that moment for fear of his enemies. He threatened, however, that he 
would find the occasion to revenge himself as signally as his father had done upon 
Acomat. Quiacatu held the sovereignty, and all were obedient to him except 
those who were with Gasan; and he took the wife of his nephew Argon and held 
her as his own, and enjoyed himself much with the ladies, for he was excessively 
given to his pleasures. Quiacatu held the sovereignty two years, at the end of which 
he was carried off by poison. 


How Baidu seized upon the sovereignty after 
the death of Quiacatu 

When Quiacatu was dead, Baidu, who was his imcle, and a Christian, seized 
upon the sovereignty, and all obeyed him except Casan and the army with him. 
This occurred in the year 1294. When Casan learnt what had occurred, he was 
more furious against Baidu than he had been against Quiacatu, and, threatening 
to take such vengeance on him as should be talked of by everybody, he resolved 
that he would delay no longer, but march immediately against him. He accord- 
ingly provisioned his army, and commenced his march. When Baidu knew for 
certain that Casan was coming against him, he assembled a vast number of men, 
and marched forwards full ten days, and then encamped and waited for him to 
give battle. On the second day Casan appeared, and immediately there began 
a fierce battle, which ended in the entire defeat of Baidu, who was slain in the 
combat. Casan now assumed the sovereignty, and began his reign in the year 
1294 of the Incarnation. Thus did the kingdom of the Eastern Tartars descend 
from Abaga to Casan, who now reigns. 


Of the Lords of the Tartars of the West 

The first lord of the Tartars of the West was Sain, who was a very great and 
powerful king. He conquered Russia, and Comania, and Alania, and Lac, and 
Mengiar, and Zic, and Gucia, and Gazaria. All these provinces were conquered 
by king Sain. Before this conquest, they were all Comanians, but they were not 
under one government ; and through their want of union they lost their lands, and 
were dispersed into different parts of the world ; and those who remained were all 
in a state of serfdom to king Sain. After king Sain reigned king Patu, after him 
king Berca, next king Mungletemur, then king Totamongur, and lastly Toctai, who 
now reigns. Having thus given you a list of the kings of the Tartars of the West, 
we will tell you of a great battle that fell out between Alau, the lord of the East, 
and Berca, the lord of the West, as well as the cause of the battle, and its result. 



Of the war between Alau and Berca, and 
the battle they fought 

In the year 1261 there arose a great quarrel between king Alau, lord of the 
Tartars of the East, and Berca, king of the Tartars of the West, on accoimt of a 
province which bordered on each of their territories, which both claimed, and 
each was too proud to yield it to the other. They mutually dej&ed each other, each 
declaring that he would go and take it, and he would see who dared hinder him. 
When things had come to this point, each summoned his followers to his banner, 
and they exerted themselves to such a degree that within six months each had 
assembled full three hundred thousand horsemen, very well furnished with all 
things appertaining to war according to their usage. Alau, lord of the East, now 
began his march with all his forces, and they rode many days without meeting 
with any adventure worth mentioning. At length they reached an extensive plain, 
situated between the Iron Gates and the Sea of Sarain, in which they encamped 
in good order, and there was many a rich pavilion and tent. And there Alau said 
he would wait to see what course Berca would follow, as this spot was on the 
borders of the two territories. 


How Berca and his host went to meet Alau 

Now when king Berca had made all his preparations, and knew that Alau was 
on his march, he also set out on his way, and in due time reached the same plain 
where his enemies awaited him, and encamped at about ten miles' distance from 
him. Berca's camp was quite as richly decked out as that of Alau, and his army 
was more numerous, for it numbered full three hundred and fifty thousand horse- 
men. The two armies rested two days, during which Berca called his people to- 
gether, and addressed them as follows: "Fair sirs," said he, "you know certainly 
that since I came into possession of the land I have loved you like brothers and 
sons, and many of you have been in many great battles with me, and you have 
assisted me to conquer a great part of the lands we hold. You know that I share 
everything I have with you, and you ought in return to do your best to support 
my honour, which hitherto you have done. You know what a great and powerful 
man Alau is, and how in this quarrel he is in the wrong, and we are in the right, 
and each of you ought to feel assured that we shall conquer him in battle, especially 
as our number exceeds his ; for we know for certain that he has only three hundred 
thousand horsemen, while we have three hundred and fifty thousand as good men 
as his and better. For all these reasons, then, you must see clearly that we shall 
gain the day, but since we have come so great a distance only to fight this battle, 


it is my will that we give battle three days hence, and we will proceed so prudendy 
and in such good order that we cannot fail of success, and I pray you all to show 
yourselves on this occasion men of courage, so that all the world shall talk of your 
deeds. I say no more than that I expect every one of you to be well prepared for 
the day appointed." 


Alau's address to his men 

When Alau knew certainly that Berca was come with so great an army, he also 
assembled his chiefs, and addressed them as follows: "Fair brothers, and sons, 
and friends," said he, "you know that all my life I have prized you and assisted 
you, and hitherto you have assisted me to conquer in many batdes, nor ever were 
you in any battle where we failed to obtain the victory, and for that reason are 
we come here to fight this great man Berca; and I know well that he has more men 
than we have, but they are not so good, and I doubt not but we shall put them all 
to flight and discomfiture. We know by our spy that they intend to give us battle 
three days hence, of which I am very glad, and I pray you all to be ready on that 
day, and to demean yourselves as you used to do. One thing only I wish to impress 
upon you, that it is better to die on the field in maintaining our honour, than to 
suffer discomfiture; so let each of you fight so that our honour may be safe, and 
our enemies discomfited and slain." 

Thus each of the kings encouraged his men, and waited for the day of the battle, 
and all prepared for it in the best way they could. 


Of the great battle between Alau and Berca 

When the day fixed for the battle arrived, Alau rose early in the morning, and 
called his men to arms, and marshalled his army with the utmost skill. He divided 
it into thirty squadrons, each squadron consisting often thousand horsemen; and 
to each he gave a good leader and a good captain. And when all this was duly 
arranged, he ordered his troops to advance, which they did at a slow pace, until 
they came halfway between the two camps, where they halted and waited for the 
enemy. On the other side, king Berca had drawn up his army, which was arranged 
in thirty-five squadrons, exactly in the same manner as that of Alau's, and he also 
ordered his men to advance, which they did within half-a-mile of the others. There 
they made a short halt, and then they moved forward again till they came to the 
distance of about two arbalest shots of each other. It was a fair plain, and wonder- 
fully extensive, as it ought to be, when so many thousands of men were marshalled 
in hostile array, under the two most powerful warriors in the world, who more- 
over were near kinsmen, for they were both of the imperial lineage of Jengiz-khan. 


After the two armies had remained a short while in face of each other, the nacars 
at length sounded, upon which both armies let fly such a shower of arrows at each 
other that you could hardly see the sky, and many were slain, man and horse. 
When all their arrows were exhausted, they engaged with swords and maces, and 
then the batde was so fierce that the noise was louder than the thunder of heaven, 
and the ground was covered with corpses and reddened with blood. Both the 
kings distinguished themselves by their valour, and their men were not backward 
in imitating their example. The battle continued in this manner till dusk, when 
Berca began to give way, and fled, and Alau's men pursued furiously, cutting down 
and slaying without mercy. After they had pursued a short distance, Alau recalled 
them, and they returned to their tents, laid aside their arms, and dressed their 
wounds; and they were so weary with fighting, that they gladly sought repose. 
Next morning Alau ordered the bodies of the dead to be buried, enemies as well 
as friends, and the loss was so great on both sides that it would be impossible to 
describe it. After this was done, Alau returned to his country with all his men who 
had survived the batde. 


How Totamangu was Lord of the Tartars of the West 

You must know that in the West there was a king of the Tartars named Mon- 
gutemur^, and the sovereignty descended to Tolobuga, who was a young bachelor, 
and a very powerful man, named Totamangu^, slew Tolobuga, with the assistance 
of another king of the Tartars, named Nogai. Thus Totam.angu obtained the sove- 
reignty by the aid of Nogai, and, after a short reign, he died, and Toctai, a very 
able and prudent man, was chosen king. Meanwhile the two sons of Tolobuga 
had grown to be now capable of bearing arms, and they were wise and prudent. 
The two brothers assembled a very fair company, and went to the court of Toctai, 
and presented themselves with so much courtesy and humility on their knees that 
Toctai welcomed them, and told them to stand up. Then the eldest said to the 
king. " Fair sir Toctai, I will tell you in the best way I can why we are come to 
court. You know that we are the sons of Tolobuga, who was slain by Totamangu 
and Nogai. Of Totamangu, I have nothing to say, since he is dead; but we claim 
justice on Nogai for the slaughter of our father, and we pray you as a righteous 
lord to grant it us. This is the object of our visit to your court." 


How Toctai sent for Nogai to Court 

When Toctai had heard the youth, he knew that what he said was true, and he 
replied, "Fair friend, I wiU willingly ^-ield to your demand of justice upon Nogai, 

^ These are the same names as spelt Mungletemur and Totamongur in Ch. 64, p. 336. 


and for that purpose we will summon him to court, and do everything which justice 
shall require." Then Toctai sends two messengers to Nogai, and ordered him to 
come to court to answer to the sons of Tolobuga for the death of their father; but 
Nogai laughed at the message, and told the messengers he would not go. When 
Toctai heard Nogai's message, he was greatly enraged, and said in the hearing 
of all who were about him, "With the aid of Gk)d, either Nogai shall come before 
me to do justice to the sons of Tolobuga, or I will go against him with all my men 
and destroy him." He then sent two other messengers, who rode in all haste to 
the court of Nogai, and on their arrival they presented themselves before him and 
saluted him very courteously, and Nogai told them they were welcome. Then one 
of the messengers said: "Fair sir, ToctJii sends you word that if you do not come 
to his court to render justice to the sons of Tolobuga, he will come against you 
with all his host, and do you all the hurt he can both to your property and person; 
therefore resolve what course you will pursue, and return him an answer by us." 
When Nogai heard Toctai's message, he was very angry, and rephed to the 
messenger as follows: "Sir messenger," said he, "now return to your lord and tell 
him from me, that I have small fear of his hostility; and tell him further, that if he 
should come against me, I will wait for him at the entrance of my territory, for 
I will meet him halfway. This is the message you shall carry back to your lord." 
The messenger hastened back, and when Toctai received this answer, he im- 
mediately sent his messengers to all parts which were under his rule, and sum- 
moned his people to be ready to go with him against king Nogai, and he had soon 
collected a great army. When Nogai knew certainly that Toctai was preparing 
to come against him with so large a host, he also made great preparation, but not 
so great as Toctai, because, though a great and powerful king, he was not so great 
or powerful as the other. 


How Toctai proceeded against Nogai 

When Toctai's army was ready, he commenced his march at the head of two 
hundred thousand horsemen, and in due time reached the fine and extensive plain 
of Nerghi, where he encamped to wait for his opponent. With him were the two 
sons of Tolobuga, who had come with a fair company of horsemen to avenge the 
death of their father. Nogai also was on his march, with a hundred and fifty thou- 
sand horsemen, all young and brave men, and much better soldiers than those of 
Toctai. He arrived in the plain where Toctai was encamped two days after him, 
and established his camp at a distance of ten miles from him. Then king Toctai 
assembled his chiefs, and said to them: "Sirs, we are come here to fight king Nogai 
and his men, and we have great reason to do so, for you know that all this hatred 
and rancour has arisen from Nogai's refusal to do justice to the sons of Tolobuga; 
and since our cause is just, we have every reason to hope for victory. Be therefore 


of good hope ; but at all events I know that you are all brave men, and that you 
will do your best to destroy our enemies." Nogai also addressed his men in the 
following terms: "Fair brothers and friends," said he, "you know that we have 
gained many great and hard fought battles, and that we have o%'ercome better 
men than these. Therefore be of good cheer. We have right on our side ; for you 
know well that Toctai was not my superior to summon me to his court to do justice 
to others. I will only further urge you to demean yourselves so in this battle that 
we shall be talked of everywhere, and that ourselves and our heirs will be the more 
respected for it." Next day they prepared for battle. Toctai drew up his army in 
twenty squadrons, each with a good leader and captain; and Nogai's army was 
formed in fifteen squadrons. After a long and desperate battle, in which the two 
kings, as well as the two sons of Tolobuga, distinguished themselves by their 
reckless valour, the army of Toctai was entirely defeated, and pursued from the 
field with great slaughter by Nogai's men, who, though less numerous, were much 
better soldiers than their opponents. Full sixty thousand men were slain in this 
battle, but king Toctai, as well as the two sons of Tolobuga, escaped. 


And now ye have heard all that we can tell you about the Tartars and the Saracens 
and their customs, and likewise about the other countries of the world as far as our 
researches and information extend. Only we have said nothing whatever about 
the GREATER SEA and the provinces that lie round it, although we know it thoroughly. 
But it seems to me a needless and useless task to speak about places which are 
visited by people every day. For there are so many who sail all about that sea 
constantly, Venetians, and Genoese, and Pisans, and many others, that everybody 
knows all about it, and that is the reason that I pass it over and say nothing of it. 
Of the manner in which we took our departure from the Court of the Great 
Khan you have heard at the beginning of the Book, in that chapter where we told 
you of all the vexation and trouble that Messer Maffeo and Messer Nicolo and 
Messer Marco had about getting the Great Khan's leave to go; and in the same 
chapter is related the lucky chance that led to our departure. And you may be 
sure th